We’ve lived in North Oakland for 8 years. The area of Oakland we live in is bordered by two other cities, Berkeley on the north and Emeryville to the west. According to the S.F. Chronicle this part of North Oakland, 94608, is the hottest selling zip code above asking price, second only to the Chicago Loop. According to Oakland Police Department we live in Area 1, Beat 10X.
Residents here are angry and sick of dodging bullets on our streets, having bullets pierce our homes, and having 17-year-old girls lose their promising lives here on our streets. More mundane but just as serious is that we all hear nearby gunshots day and night, see child and teenage prostitutes on our section of San Pablo Avenue, dice-games on our corners, open-air drug dealing, and other forms of urban blight associated with these activities.
I became involved in crime prevention and community improvement when I noticed that there were some 3,000 homes and more than 6,000 great folks in our beat, and only a small handful of people who were preventing us from the peaceful enjoyment of our neighborhood.
Many of us are thrilled that our part of North Oakland was chosen as the pilot site for the gang injunction. We know that it is no magic pill or panacea that will rid us of crime once-and-for-all, but it is an innovative tool for the city to curb the rampant crime here.
We love our homes and neighborhoods but we don’t love the crime. We think this injunction directed at a few bad guys will help stop the cycle of violence that dismays most Oakland residents.
Larry Benson is the chair of the Golden Gate Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council, Beat 10X.
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