Community

Decision looms on plan to build more than 200 housing units in West Oakland

The neighborhood surrounding the West Oakland BART station could be described as a microcosm of the city’s growing housing inequality: Unhoused residents live in camps alongside new apartments and condos that cater primarily to transplants and commuters. The area is set to undergo even more changes in the next few years. As part of a larger West Oakland Specific Plan launched by the city in 2014, hundreds of market-rate units, stores and workspaces are expected, which would change West Oakland’s skyline permanently. …

Injured protesting George Floyd murder, they are now suing Oakland and Alameda County

Kierra Brown was helping wash people’s eyes when officers in riot gear approached, forcing her to run. It was June 2020, during a protest in downtown Oakland over the murder of George Floyd, and police had tear-gassed the crowd minutes earlier. Police shot Brown in the back of her right leg with an “impact munition,” projectiles typically made from rubber, wood or beans. She hasn’t regained full sensation in that leg and is at risk of losing mobility in her…

Will A’s stadium project hurt more than help the community?

As the Oakland Athletics proceed to finalize a development agreement for the new baseball stadium at Howard Terminal, some community members who have been involved in the project worry that it won’t provide enough benefits to residents, including jobs and affordable housing.  “This deal is going to bring value to the property owners and create more displacement,” said Jabari Herbert, a contractor and a member of the steering committee that worked on a Community Benefits Agreement.  The committee, which included…

Two Star Market to host community meal: ‘Thanksgiving is kind of a day you have to give back’

Two Star Market will host its 19th annual Thanksgiving dinner for the community, a free meal that 1,000 or more people are expected to enjoy in the Dimond District on Thursday. Financed by co-owner Farouq Alawdi, the meal brings together local business owners and volunteers to serve a traditional Thanksgiving menu of smoked turkey, collard greens, and yams, along with Mexican, and Middle Eastern dishes.  “This market and being in this community is a part of us,” Alawdi said. “Thanksgiving…

Oakland looks to make Chinatown’s streets safer by redesigning them

From horses to highways, the streets of Oakland’s Chinatown have been shaped by every form of traffic since its founding in 1850. Soon it will be reshaped again. With a $500,000 Caltrans Sustainable Communities grant, Oakland’s Department of Transportation will fund a multilingual community outreach program to collect input from the neighborhood and redesign the streets of Chinatown. The public’s opinion will be solicited beginning early 2022. The project’s goal is to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety and reduce carbon…

East Oakland scraper bike program gives kids a chance to safely cycle

Beside bikes dazzling with brightly colored tape and foil, about a dozen East Oakland elementary school children excitedly, in unison, recited their ABCs:   “Air, brakes, chains.”  The kids learned the drill to check bike parts during a new six-week, after-school bike course this fall for children at Brookfield and Madison Park elementary schools. Mentors from The Scraper Team and the nonprofit Higher Ground launched the program to teach kids about bicycle safety and maintenance in a neighborhood that has very…

VIDEO: Watch Oakland muralist turn a blank wall into a work of art

Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith is a muralist and artist in Oakland. As creative director of the Bay Area Mural Project, Wolfe-Goldsmith works to gain exposure for local artists, while painting the walls in Oakland with image that resonate. Her work reflects the culture, history and dreams that shape communities, as it presents empowering representations of BIPOC individuals. In this video, Wolfe-Goldsmith does the physically demanding work of a mural artist and talks about the piece she is most proud of.

Will Oakland get federal rescue dollars for anti-violence measures?

City officials and community leaders want to pump newly available federal money into addressing the gun violence that has claimed more than 100 lives this year and the health inequities that enabled COVID-19 to devastate communities of color.  Both Oakland and Alameda County declared gun violence a public health crisis in the hopes of speeding up the process of securing money from the American Rescue Plan, which passed in March. But the money is still tied up in red tape…