Saving Chinatown 

As ethnic enclaves around the country grapple with displacement and gentrification, activists and business leaders offer competing visions for the future of Oakland Chinatown.

Page 7 of 7

But with skyrocketing rents sweeping through the downtown, Jack London, and Lake Merritt BART station areas, there's also no question that many longtime residents are in serious danger of being displaced. What might save Oakland from the fate of other Chinatowns around the country may be the simple fact that so many members of the community are deeply committed to preserving Chinatown and have gotten together to make plans in a strategic way. Huen, the anti-displacement activist, said that was something that seemed to be missing in Washington, DC.

"I want to believe that the Oakland chamber does care more, relative to the Chinatown in DC," Huen said. "They do care more about preserving our history and our culture. They're not going to just sell it to the highest bidder."

The key, she added, is for Chinatown's community leaders to organize to fend off that threat. And, for now, she's hopeful. "I think the narrative that Oakland's going to be destroyed is not quite accurate."

Correction: The original version of this story misspelled the name of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development.


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