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Oakland North’s 2019 year in review — our top stories

2019 brought a new group of student reporters to Oakland North from across the country and the globe. We covered a city that is always changing, but where tensions about city finances, policing, housing and the fate of the public schools run deep. We also produced three new episodes of our Tales of Two Cities podcast, which covers audio stories from Oakland and Richmond in collaboration with our sister site, Richmond Confidential. Click here to check out all episodes of the Tales of…

Donated and forgotten: The problem with second-hand clothes

The Goodwill’s Greater East Bay headquarters on International Boulevard is a clothing reseller’s dream and a garbage system nightmare. This block-long facility is, despite its size, an inconspicuous treasure trove for resellers sifting for secondhand goods they will leave with by the cartload. The white cinderblock interior has an almost clinical feel: Clothes lie sprawled in plastic carts the size of operating tables, pushed together in a maze that only the regulars know how to navigate. This kind of retail…

In a city of immigrants, three men share their stories

Oakland is a city of immigrants. According to information provided by Census.gov, in 2018, Oakland had a population of about 429,000 people, with about a third of the population being from another country. But those census figures may not be accurate. “I think the challenge is that many of them are living in the shadows, so it is really hard to know how many [immigrants] are here,” said Lisa Hoffman, development director for the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, an organization…

Oaklanders remedy the housing crisis one home at a time

On a quiet fall day, Noni Session parked next to a two-story apartment building in North Oakland. It was a simple, white mid-century structure with a turquoise door and grey trim on the windows. Across the street, a BART train whizzed by on its way to MacArthur Station. Session is the executive director of a nonprofit called East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, or EBPREC. Several months ago, the organization purchased this building in a bid to protect tenants after…

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