People

Five years after Ghost Ship: How local organizations are fighting artist displacement

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Oakland’s industrial zone bustled with canneries, metal works and warehouses. As the global economy changed, industries moved out and artists moved in. The low-rent buildings, with their vaulted interiors, were suitable for live-work studios.  Over the years, landlords looked the other way as tenants nested in spaces that were never coded for housing. On Dec. 2, 2016, the deadliest fire in Oakland history broke out in the Ghost Ship, a former warehouse in Fruitvale…

As Black farmers dwindle, grower at Temescal market wants public to know ‘we are here.’

Every Saturday morning, Will Scott Jr. wakes at 4 a.m. and drives from Fresno to Oakland to sell his fruits and vegetables at the Freedom Farmers Market in Temescal. Among the Black small business owners at the market this day, he is the only farmer.  At 81, Scott is part of a diminishing group — one of just 429 Black farmers in California. He said he travels 175 miles each week to make a point. As president of African American…

Six years in office: How much has Libby Schaaf delivered on campaign promises?

In 2014, Libby Schaaf ran for mayor. She had just finished serving her first and only term on Oakland City Council, representing District 4. She had strong name recognition and a long track record of being invested in Oakland city politics. She won easily, with her two runners up, current City Council President Rebecca Kaplan and former incumbent Jean Quan, each 10 points behind her. She built her campaign upon four platforms.  At the midpoint of her second and final…

Why did Oakland’s Measure QQ fare so much better than other youth vote propositions in California?

Oakland’s Measure QQ, which allows 16-year-olds to vote in school board elections, became the sole youth vote measure in California to pass in this election, with over 67% of the vote.  San Francisco’s Proposition G—which would have let 16-year-olds vote in all city elections—is projected to fail by a margin of less than two percentage points, as of Friday. California Prop. 18—which would have granted the right to vote to 17-year-olds who would turn 18 by the general election—failed by…