With the dropout rate at 40 percent and the OUSD facing a $29 million budget deficit, this is the perfect time for Mayor Quan to use her position to empower people to work together to solve the education crisis we are having Oakland.
For too long, Oakland’s public safety dialog has been framed as a contest between advocates for community policing and crime prevention programs, on the one hand, and supporters of adequate police staffing, on the other. We believe that all three are essential to public safety.
At first, I thought they might be looking at their victim, reacting to their bloody deed, her with a glee in her face that approached the psychotic, him with a rather more appropriate look of moral ambivalence. I was wrong. They were looking at a check.
Police Chief Anthony Batts came to Oakland with the promise that he would have the resources to do the job. Instead of beefing up the department, it has been cannibalized. We have gone from 803 cops to 656 with more losses predicted because of attrition. The city has no plans to recruit new cops. Now it looks like Batts may want to leave.
As sure as it’s the New Year, it’s also school selection season in Oakland. Obsessing about kindergarten is one of those things almost every middle-class parent here does, as normal as buying a family membership at the zoo.
When I was six years old—in 1953 I am sorry to report—there was no room in the Catholic schools in Alameda for me and so I went to Saint Francis De Sales in Oakland. That school is long gone and the world I lived in even more so.
A few weeks ago I was in a Temescal neighborhood cafe, seated at the table nearest to the door, typing on my laptop while meeting with a colleague when I felt a presence behind me as if someone was going to give me a hug. Before I knew it a man’s arms reached around me, not for a hug, but to grab my laptop and run out the door.
In these harrowingly uncertain economic times, Uhuru Pies is an easy way to bring people the message that sustainable economic development for the African community is the way towards social justice and a better world for all.