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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Seven Days

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Sorry, I did not check on the corrections made by the spell checker. I meant unvetted, not unveiled.....

Posted by Michael Good on 10/21/2015 at 3:04 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Chanty Nok may benefit from developing a deep understanding of "confirmation bias." If you "Google" long enough you can find a point of view or a piece of the fact base that agrees with what you are trying to prove. Then present it. "See, I was right"
The most recent post is a classic example.

The 2 citations are actually just articles that are citing/linking to something else. If you trace back far enough, you can find the original source.

The first can be traced back to a professor that has studied Atlanta. Fair enough. It looks like the laws of economics are at work. If you develop more housing that is higher end, it is more expensive. The smart money seeks more money and more expensive housing is built.

Yes. Therefore? The lead in to Chanty Nok's post is "Evidence that gentrification promote segregation...." There is nothing in that article that discusses the relationship between segregation and gentrification. A word such of the article does not produce the word segregation......not even once.

It seems to me that if you start with a neighborhood that is mostly poor and black and some wealthier whites move in (that is what is being discussed here, isn't it? Otherwise segregation would not be brought up) then the neighborhood is less segregated. if that continues then the mix becomes more of a mix, not less of a mix. Perhaps, years from now, there is a tipping point and it starts going the other way. Years away and the activity in the meantime is less segregation.

Oh, and I do not think the citations related to this study provide a compare and contrast with what happens if you do not build any new, more expensive housing. Is that better? Maintain the status quo? Let things go into further decline? No discussion of choices and the consequences of the choices.

The second link shows you that someone out there developed a computer spreadsheet model with assumptions. With the "right" assumptions, such as a 10% profit goal, it shows that affordable housing can work for a developer. Well, what do you know? The source of all this wisdom is an organization called "Cornerstone Partnership". Their URL is "affordable" - so they have a bias and an agenda they want to advance. This is not science or proof of anything in particular. Unveiled, untested assumptions, used in an untested, unveiled model.

(see above, confirmation bias)

Perhaps our city leaders can provide a better answer than letting economic forces play out with no intervention. Perhaps they can help move things to a better place.

Rather than spending time vilifying the realities of economics or "gentrifiers", it may provide benefit to better define problems (without words designed to create negative emotion) and offer solutions. I do not have any magic to offer, I am not a city planner either, but that seems to be a better use of time and energy.

Posted by Michael Good on 10/21/2015 at 2:56 PM

Re: “Oakland Takes Baby Steps on Housing

Let's compare the revenue per square mile of Oakland to Emeryville and to Berkeley... the graph will need one of those squiggly breaks in it because they've both left Oakland in the dust decades ago. Trying to squeeze more housing funds out of the municipal budget for more resource dependant affordable housing is like going to your broke sibling and saying, "I need money for your nephew's summer camp. Oh, and due to the law and all I can't guarantee the money you are going to give me will actually pay for your nephew's camp experience, it might pay for some other kid's camp dues. Sorry." BTW, with all that Berkeley has done, the average Berkeley home costs nearly twice as much as one in Oakland.

Posted by Matt_Chambers on 10/20/2015 at 10:12 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Evidence that gentrification promote segregation....

"Perhaps the increasing supply of luxury units in a gentrifying neighborhood will force incumbent residents to move elsewhere. We don't know. We do know that the increasing supply of luxury units in a gentrifying neighborhood will keep certain socioeconomic groups out."

"Yes in my backyard (YIMBYism) is the new segregation. NIMBYs keeping people out of certain neighborhoods is an old story. YIMBYs do the same while scapegoating NIMBYs—"I'll see your racism and raise you.""
-Jim Russell, a geographer studying the relationship between migration and economic development

And yet Oakland's real estate shills and City staff such as Rachel Flynn are still insisting luxury housing on the E. 12th parcel and high end hotel at Kaiser will increase affordable housing not exacerbate it despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

Read the article here,…

Looks like some pro-development folks are not being straight with the citizens of Oakland because...

in even more surprising research, it turns out that "developers can profit by building affordable housing almost anywhere,"…

Can we please dump the plutocrats' shills and bring in some accountable adults to make informed decisions for the workaday folks of Oakland?

Posted by Chanty Nok on 10/20/2015 at 3:57 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

This is America. Citizens of this country are allowed to move were every they choose. Why would any one need to explain or justify themselves?

Posted by Joe Sarapochillo on 10/19/2015 at 10:25 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

I've been leery of Mayor Scaaf since her strongest selling point in the election was that she's a native Oaklander...growing up in Oakland. On Skyline Blvd. Thats not so much IN Oakland as Hovering OVER Oakland. Oakland's biggest burdens are city planning and the Rene Davidson Courthouse. City planning that's turned West and East Oakland into baron abandoned deserts leaving residents with a glass of water to share. And Rene Davidson Courthouse ALL TOO HAPPY to streamline too many victims of Oakland's bad city planning straight into Santa Rita Jail. Example of Oakland City Planning mindset is when OAKLAND ECONOMIC RE-DEVELOPMENT Office helped FUND the REMODELING of a SAFEWAY ON THE NORTH OAKLAND BERKELEY BORDER WHERE CLAREMONT MEETS COLLEGE. ONE OF THE WEALTHIEST AREAS OF BERKELEY AND OAKLAND. WHAT DIRE NEED IS SATISFIED BY REMODELING A PERFECTLY FUNCTIONAL SAFEWAY? MODELED BTW AFTER BERKELEYS RICH NEIGHBOR ORINDA'S SAFEWAY. GOD FORBID WE LET BERKELEY BE OUTDONE BY ORINDA!!! Now, Economic redevelopment monies would be well spent remodeling a safeway in east or west Oakland. perhaps......OH WAIT THERE AREN'T ANY SAFEWAYS IN EAST OR WEST OAKLAND TO RE-DEVELOPE!!! VIABLE FOOD IS ALWAYS HARD TO FIND IN THE DESERT ISN'T IT? With no viable food stores or retail of any kind, Jobs are scarce and then housing is going up as it becomes more gentrified. AND while all that is going on, the low income residents are constantly being targeted by CHP and OPD for routine traffic stops in order to raise revenue to fund offices like economic redevelopment so they can continue to better serve the ALREADY HAVES? The LAST complaints that should be heard are from the new residents of Oakland who don't like the way Oaklander's live. As a person said in this thread, Go join in with the drumming and the music. Bring your own drum if you want to. Attend the church in your neighborhood, ALL are welcome and you might learn something about where you live. Help with the EFFORTS to make it a better place FOR EVERYONE, NOT JUST FOR THE FORTUNATE FEW!!!!

Posted by Sarah Beatty on 10/18/2015 at 9:10 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

@Lovica, I agree in part with some of what you wrote. A great deal has changed since 2006 when there was only cartoony MySpace, Friendster and Tribe for social media. These sites held no real power in the media unlike a decade later when Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook comprise major portions of even national and international news coverage. Blogging and You Tube are now major cultural players so a site like Next Door just adds to the constant self promotion and neediness. In 2006 it was the end of the first dot com let down and housing bubble. There was no real Oakland renaissance at that point. I know of two Black personal trainers who would use the residential stairs and parks in the nearly all White hills for training people and dealt with zero issues. This could not happen today without the police arriving. I'm trying to understand why now there is so much racial profiling now all over? Are people just in front of screens too much with nothing better to do? Sadly I think it is those who arrived post end of the 90s and especially the past decade who are just not able to mesh. At least you are though.

Posted by Kevin Whelan on 10/16/2015 at 11:12 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Steve Kopf: I think you may want to consider that buskers in the London tube, Punch and Judy theaters at the English seaside, many Paris street artist and performers and musicians all throughout Europe of many different colors operate without paperwork and without adhering to basic ordinances. White people in Europe don't seem to have your severe issues around artists gathering. Lake days and drum nights are keystone parts of East Bay Area culture. You sound like you'd be much happier in Piedmont, Broadway Terrace or the Berkeley Hills. Those are comparatively quiet areas. The issues in the flatlands are that traditions are being destroyed. Churches being profiled for "drug dealing activity" when actually parshioners are actually being fitted for choir robes. This is about keeping long tradtion of Oakland arts alive not "newcomer shaming." Artists -from gospel singers to drummers to dancers to rappers and stand up comedians don't function on 9 to 5, in bed by curfew and please be quiet.

Posted by Kevin Whelan on 10/16/2015 at 10:54 PM

Re: “The Women of Oakland Take Over

landreth is know for having a "backbone of steel," which, in addition to being on the same page as the Mayor, is what Oakland needs.

Posted by charlton holland on 10/16/2015 at 4:57 PM

Re: “The Women of Oakland Take Over

Landreth is known for being "tough as nails." That, in addition to being on the same page as the Mayor, is what Oakland needs.

Posted by charlton holland on 10/16/2015 at 4:56 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 10/16/2015 at 3:10 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 10/16/2015 at 11:03 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

East Bay Express- you are one of the biggest contributors to the conflict going on right now by stirring things up with bad information. First off you reported on the drummers being unfairly targeted by newcomers for playing at Lake Merritt. What you neglected to mention is that the park hours are from sunrise to sunset. And you have done it again by reporting that a black church was being targeted by newcomers for being too loud. Again, you failed to do your due diligence. Had you done so you would have found out that the person making the complaint is an 11 year resident who made the complaint since the choir started practicing past the 9PM curfew as late as 2 am in the morning beginning in 2014. Please stop targeting new comers.…

Posted by Steve Kopff on 10/16/2015 at 9:08 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

I also have repeatedly heard that the person in Oakland who oversees planning and building (Rachel Flynn) said something about Oakland not having an affordable housing problem? Does anyone know what she said and how it was framed and I'd question her on that statement because she's someone who needs to be reviewed closely for any remotely made statement around this.

Stop harassing people not in planning and building and take a closer look af who runs your city and approves plans, discuses futures and has access to those that can progressively change things.

Posted by Carol Wyatt on 10/16/2015 at 7:22 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Thank you all for understanding for those thar are in agreement. I appreciate your insights and hope we can continue a dialogue. To make matters interesting I attended our West Oakland Neighbkrs meeting and a developer/property management firm that plans to build in our community was there. They showed up and shared their plans and goals. They answered questions and cared about input from the community. Things like impact on our environment emotionally. They answered questions about affordable housing and how this discussion needs to start at the political levels because even the funding of these projects needs to be at the beginning of the discussion because how affordable housing is built requires state ans public funds. Redevelopment is Gov Brown's area so we should ask him, the Mayor and the council about that. We should consider how banks play a role because developers can't get funding and house poor homeowners that have blighted homes that could be rehabbed and provide housing needs to be reviewed. These are solutions to things bec housing isn't built quickly enough and this could beautify communities, re-engage the owners of the properties and provide safe and accessible housing in already established communities.

Intellect and action is what we need here. A focus on those who make the rules and laws and a discussion with those who finance is in tall order here.

Less beatings towards people who just bought homes. Frankly I appreciate those willing to pay property taxes to improve our Communities.

Posted by Carol Wyatt on 10/16/2015 at 6:51 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Wow! It's like Carol Wyatt channeled many of my thoughts and concerns. And in a more eloquent way. Thank you. I'm like, what she said. 😉

Posted by Katrina Verzosa on 10/16/2015 at 6:35 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

This reminds me of another time when black people couldn't worship openly: Slavery. Ah the joys of the new "enlightened" class of gentrifiers...taking us right back to 1855 one bible study at a time! " Hush up now, with the jesus talk, don't want the gentry to call the overseer on us!"

The entitlement of people like this is appalling, its bad enough you are completely oblivious to the dynamics of a neighborhood you chose to move into - you also must force everyone around you to conform to your idea of community. If you want to live in isolated silence - go live in a little box of a condo or out to Walnut Creek. Just turn up your beloved Sonos system or put on your Bose headphones and continue your never ending narcissistic, self-enveloped navel gazing life where EVERYTHING has to be a reflection of or relatable to you - or otherwise invisible and silent.

Posted by Ralph Purvis on 10/15/2015 at 10:37 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Thank you, Carol, for the wonderful response. It's so good to see such thoughtfulness on an issue that is fraught with negative feelings and fear on all sides.

I just re-read the article and realized that my response to it was very much colored by some of the comment thread and a lot of the previous conversations that have occurred over some of the articles and issues cited. I think I owe Mr. Gammon an apology for latching onto a few statements and becoming immediately defensive. On a second read, I found the article a lot more balanced and nuanced than I had given it credit for.

Probably the biggest pet peeve I have, which is part of why I was not able to read the article with a more open mind, is use of the term "gentrifier." There's no denying that gentrification exists and is happening in a lot of Oakland. Many people who have moved into Oakland over the past decade or two have been part of an overall trend toward gentrification. However, I would argue that most of these newcomers are not relocating here with an eye toward "gentrifying" the city or neighborhood. They might welcome new businesses that cater to their interests, but their goal is not to push longtime residents out. Most people are somewhat selfish in terms of their decision making process (e.g. they want to move here because it makes financial sense for them) but not malicious (e.g. they want to live here because it will screw other people over). Labeling these people who might have selfish intent as "gentrifier" seems to impute maliciousness to the simple, necessary act of making a decision about where to live. If indeed there is such a thing as gentrifier, can we reserve that label for people who are actively working to push people out? (People buying up distressed properties and kicking out the tenants, landlords evicting people so they can raise rents, etc.) Rather than aiming all your hatred at people who are essentially just innocent beneficiaries of a force beyond their control, why take people to task who actually have the wherewithal to do something about it. As Mr. Gammon said, the big failure has been our city officials, who have not acted quickly or effectively enough to deal with the housing crisis.

To those who are disturbed by the neighbors who have been acting on racist assumptions over Nextdoor and/or calling in complaints about cultural traditions they don't understand or appreciate, I ask you to consider this:

1. It's quite possible/probable that the people engaged in this unneighborly behavior are not, in fact, all newcomers. In some of these cases the people have been new to the area, but in the case of Nextdoor I don't think it's primarily newcomers. Nextdoor has just given a much more public outlet for attitudes that have likely been there for decades. I'm not saying newcomers to the city are faultless, but please realize they're not the sole source of all evil. In some cases, they might even bring positive influences. Each individual has a unique story that informs their perspective, and if you can give newcomers the benefit of the doubt they might be better able to extend the same for you.

2. When you call someone "gentrifier" you are using an epithet that is designed to shut down meaningful conversation (or inflame conflict). By all means, call people out for their bigotry and intolerance; call people out for insensitivity. But stop conflating symptom with cause, and stop pretending that an individual putting down roots and investing in Oakland is a direct attack on your ability to live in this town. If you truly want the newcomers, who may be moving here as part of an overall gentrification trend, to be respectful of the community and the history that came before them, perhaps you could find a more respectful name for them. New Oaklanders, transplants, Oakland converts. Leading the conversation with accusations about their intent to displace you is not the way to engender comity.

Posted by Lovica Callisti on 10/15/2015 at 4:12 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Steve, would you just please arrange something so I can meet some of your haters? I really don't understand why they have singled YOU out (though by now you shouldn't even give a sh** about that), since what they don't realize is the issues that change is NOT coming to Oakland unless the developers are forced to include it in a plan, is imminently engaged...oh, and I apologize for using the word imminent because while I pass still uninhabitable property along the San Pablo Avenue corridor, I'm reminded by a colleague that there are impasses going on here...Seems that everyone is bandying on this game...the poor black senior who owns property but refuses to either fix it or renovate it so that other residents can inhabit the property because he's not economically in position to do so; the homeowner who is receiving fines and other levies because there appears to be some viable game to try and force people out of their property (e.g. you can't afford to fix it so it can earn you some income and you have a city government that appears not to even be engaging in the discussion so that each party can help the other). The abundant number of churches (to quote my brother there are more churches in West Oakland than Chinese restaurants in NY....and if you don'r know that's a heckava lot of churches). The housing issue in Oakland wont be cured until ALL THE owners who need support in updating and allowing their properties to not face code violations; city departments that have a true and truthful mission of identifying affordable living spaces within the city demographics. Considering this is what one needs to recognize because as someone who lives outside of these discussions but knows a lot of people who are either in pain from the outcomes (or will be in pain when their rent practically doubles in increases down the line), you will continue to have hateful people coming for Steve and others who as I KNOW just want to see clean, decent and affordable things for those who need and want to see our retailers have more respectful and attractive shopping facilities and provisions. I am not shopping at the market on 26th and San Pablo Avenue because I don't trust the cleanliness...doesn't make me a gentrifier or a racist/bigot....makes me a pretty sane individual because the conditions of that store aren't on their surface, compatible with a community that needs and should have healthier options. When this displaced rage being shared towards people who want EVERYONE to have access to fresh and clean foods, water, environments, is displaced....all that does is keeps folks arguing and not focusing that conversation towards the folks who need to hear it and think you are okay with a lofty answer. Accountability in responses should be the name of the game...Mayor, when ARE WE GOING TO SEE SOME AFFORDABLE HOUSING MIXED IN WITH SOME OF THIS NEW DEVELOPMENT? How come the City of Emeryville and Berkeley have these provisions within their housing charters? The rage should be towards those who are the decision makers long-term in this city....stop hating on Steve because all he did was move here and ask WTF is the fruit stand and a place to buy a Tribune newspaper that doesn't have a faint smell of rat feces. He would be wrong if he was wrong...the problem is, HE AIN'T your rage to those who are gaming YOU by talking lofty about secret sauce, when the sauce is too expensive for you to even taste to know what's in it.

Posted by Carol Wyatt on 10/15/2015 at 2:45 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

"Two dogs fight for a bone, and a third runs away with it." That third dog is foreign investors (white, black, asian, hispanic, whatever) that don't care at all about Oakland's residents and who only care about increasing their property values. That dog needs a leash. Focusing on and promoting racial tension is a distraction to everyone who really wants Oakland to thrive.

Robert Gammon, you are pouring fuel on the fire here knowing that conflict is good for the news business. This is a selfish move and I wish you would stop.

Posted by Will Roscoe on 10/15/2015 at 2:35 PM

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