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Re: “For MLK Holiday, Activists Tear Down Fence and Take Over Oakland's St. Andrew's Plaza in the Name of 'Black Joy'

A Note To The East Bay Express;

How come you always report negatives about the community in our area? Why don't you share successes surrounding the Farm Park which is open to everyone and even has someone who shuts and opens it daily that is an unhoused resident? Or what goes on with kids at Willie Keyes Center.

What about the work this community did to feed folks after the closing of Alliance Recycling? Or the hopes of what this community needs to really create change.

We know this City as a history of activism. What predominately poor minority community doesn't?

Let's get some positives told. This community wants some change that works to all who want to be here. But sometimes those who are here want to bring things that are harmful to its future. And those may not be as welcome.

Is it still gentrification to want to get Crime, drugs gangland presence and hostility out of the neighborhood? I was never raised to believe that. But I guess the readership doesn't respond positively or stay engaged unless the pile on is there.

The negative and frequently one-sided and misinformed media surrounding the activities in West Oakland (as usual) forgets to share what the collective community does to promote and create POSITIVE changes. There is a LOT if you didn't know.

Just because this community has grown up and gotten fed up to show they don't want the drug dealing and shooting here doesn't mean the people aren't welcome. The Liberation Group has more in common than they have in difference with those who live here. Actually anyone moving here has the presumed pick of the litter to choose where they want to live; why would they choose a community full of struggle unless they also care? It's not cheap to buy over here anymore as it once was so think about that!

Learn to separate the two. This is why black people are historically vilified; media that creates this narrative is as bad as those who spew it as politicians to stay endlessly in office but do no work to change the subject to positive outcomes.

I'd be happy to get some neighbors of all walks of life together for a profile and expose of this area.

Posted by Carol Wyatt on 01/17/2017 at 10:22 AM

Re: “For MLK Holiday, Activists Tear Down Fence and Take Over Oakland's St. Andrew's Plaza in the Name of 'Black Joy'

To amplify what was shared by Michael; the community wanted the park closed as part of the renovation-activation of healthy activities that serve the community as a whole. The community has been abused and mistreated for Decades.

Pretty much every surrounding entity (senior center residents and those who utilize the senior center; West Oakland Youth Center, the residents of neighboring Myrtle, Filbert, Linden and Chestnut Streets) experienced endless amounts (and I do mean endless) of police activity and drug use, prostitution and hostility. It's why the redesign was considered.

To support what Dorothy us saying: What does it take to provide the younger generation in the community some hope? The acts of a few adults who didn't give a damn and used their circumstances to abuse the community were so intense, shutting it down to redesign it for things like what occurred was actually desireous.

For the record, I know because I attended 90% of the meeting the community held to inform and engage the public about this long-time neglected area.

Plus, the ground-break of what is supposed to come in the form of People's Community Market has no hope for success if we don't work to change and bring a different narrative to this area. Just look at the area surrounding the park. Since I've lived here and even as many cleaned the area weekly to rid it of needles and filth left by those who abuse it for sport.

The community wants to see everyone be involved and included; even those who are forgotten still matter but having wrong incomes don't have right outcomes.

Adults who have aged out of (addiction,foster or prison) systems that suffer from having no homes is still a community problem to be solved. Even average working folks can't afford to live here, even offsetting incomes by thanks to an overall and overwhelming expensive city hijacked by San Francisco's lack of affordability. That is a longer and less addressable issue. But it will still need to be addressed; these are human beings; not disposable trash. Yes, the chickens always come home to roost and the conflict of gentrification which is always the buzz word even for communities of all races and income levels.

These are always factored into and mounted onto the happenings in this area or Clawson-McClymonds. The younger folks here are tied of getting shot and tired of seeing their futures destroyed because adults can't get their shit together. They don't want to be shifted out of the area to places that are more affordable but unfamiliar to them.

Posted by Carol Wyatt on 01/17/2017 at 10:18 AM

Re: “For MLK Holiday, Activists Tear Down Fence and Take Over Oakland's St. Andrew's Plaza in the Name of 'Black Joy'

Great comment by Carol Wyatt, which only confirms what I noted in my earlier comments here: the (missing) heart of the story is the status of the City's renovation plan for the park, and the need for continuing community involvement (which shut it down in the first place) -- NOT the (unchallenged) ideology of a clique of self-appointed arbiters of "Black Joy."

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 01/17/2017 at 8:49 AM

Re: “For MLK Holiday, Activists Tear Down Fence and Take Over Oakland's St. Andrew's Plaza in the Name of 'Black Joy'

Most of the persons living in those West Oakland primarily tents and other areas, were never educated, had jobs, or apartments to begin with. They have always really survived by General Assistance, or SSI, which primarily funds this drug, alcohol and prostitution desires. And, during the day, some break into cars and homes. No one in their right mind, is going to create / build housing for people of this source. No one is even renting to people who have Section 8 vouchers in most cities in the United States. So let's be clear, this is a new world in America, but this has been going on in a multitude of countries forever but now Tent City has hit home!! It's nothing new around the world. If you can't feed yourself you have to go elsewhere. Stop having babies the tax payers will no longer afford. I'm a black landlord, and the population has changed who rents from us, and diversity is welcome, nothing stays status quo.

Posted by DorothyT on 01/17/2017 at 8:41 AM

Re: “For MLK Holiday, Activists Tear Down Fence and Take Over Oakland's St. Andrew's Plaza in the Name of 'Black Joy'

Well said Carol Wyatt. I think you speak for all the residents of Oakland that want a better, safer Oakland with opportunities for all.

Posted by Anya K on 01/17/2017 at 7:27 AM

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