Urban Gardening: It’s Not That Hard Y’all!

With the high prices of fresh fruits and vegetables at the local farmers’ market or grocery store, having access to quality food can be hard. Folks living in areas of East Oakland have an even harder time buying and accessing good veggies and fruits because there are no grocery stores. Several months ago I saw a talk by a community gardener named Ron Finley who has been growing food on the patches of soil between the sidewalk and streets of South Central Los Angeles. I found his talk to be entertaining because he could be my friend or neighbor,, and eye opening because I have seen many of the same conditions on the streets of East Oakland.... Read more »

CATEGORIES: Blog, Food Access, Health Happens in Neighborhoods, Land Use, People Power

2015 Mini Grants are Announced!

Congrats to the recipients of this year’s Youth Mini Grants! Each summer, our Youth Leadership Board awards grants of up to $2,000 to youth-led projects sponsored by East Oakland schools, churches and nonprofits. The 2015 grantees and projects are: Alternatives in Action – Fremont First Mentors Summer Bridge, a program to help incoming freshman to acclimate to high school. East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC) – Summer enrichment program, healing classes for youth in collaboration with UC Berkeley.   LIFE Academy – MSA project, a multicultural student club to create cultural understanding and bridge divides between African American, Arab, Asian, and Latino students.... Read more »

CATEGORIES: Blog, Daughters & Sisters, Health Happens in Neighborhoods, Neighbors, Sons & Brothers, Youth Mini Grants, Youth Power

Oakland Residents Speak Truth to Mayor Schaaf

“We are an oak tree with deep roots, we do not move with the breeze even when the earth quakes; we still stand strong with battle scars,” said James, a 14-year-old East Oakland resident leader to Mayor Libby Schaaf. On May 19th in the old Eastmont Mall, resident leaders met with Mayor Libby Schaaf to express years of frustrations and negative impacts they have personally experienced while living in East Oakland. Each resident leader began their statements to Mayor Schaaf with “I am Oakland Community Neighborhood Voices.” They were in full force, donning black t-shirts with a hashtag on the front that read: #Health4all.... Read more »

CATEGORIES: Blog, Economic Opportunity, Food Access, Health Access, Health Happens in Neighborhoods, Housing, In Focus, Land Use, Peace Promotion, People Power, Transportation

We Will Not Be Moved: Tenant Organizing for the Right to the City

Original post appeared on Medium.com Gentrification has created a housing crisis for urban, working class, tenants of color that is compounding historic racial and economic fissures. Working class urban dwellers are in crisis. Rising evictions, an aging housing stock that is unsafe and in many cases uninhabitable, soaring housing costs and the dramatic displacement of Black and Latino people. U.S. Census figures show that San Francisco’s population has grown from 776,700 in 2000 to 817,500 in 2013. In that same period, the Black population dramatically dipped from 60,500 to just 48,000; and as a result Blacks currently account for less than 6 percent of the city’s total population.... Read more »

CATEGORIES: Blog, Health Happens in Neighborhoods, Housing, Land Use

#RIPJacka: Oakland at a Crossroads

Our Progressive Movement here in the Bay Area is made up of some of the most courageous and compassionate people I have ever met.  And even yet, I believe that we are struggling to fully comprehend the depth of what’s happening right now in the Oakland Streets. The tragic shooting of the Jacka, a Pittsburg CA resident and one of the Bay Area’s most beloved rappers, on 94th Avenue in East Oakland came as a huge shock last Monday night – a shock from which many have not yet recovered.   For some of my friends who knew him well, his passing means an agonizing loss of camaraderie and brotherhood.  ... Read more »

CATEGORIES: Blog, Health Happens in Neighborhoods, Peace Promotion

Residents Take the Lead to Produce A Mayoral Forum of Their Own

East Oakland residents and mayoral candidates recently came together at the Oakland Speaks for Healthy Development Policy Makers Forum to talk about how to ensure all of Oakland is thriving. Planning for the evening began in July 2014 when we convened a group of 30 resident leaders for discussions about what Oakland needs to do to attract better paying jobs, improve transit and housing, and promote safety and clean air. The residents came from every neighborhood of East Oakland. They are teachers, students, advocates, and retirees. They are teenagers and elders. They are black, white, Latino, and Asian.... Read more »

CATEGORIES: Blog, Health Happens in Neighborhoods, People Power

Oakland Voices Kicks Off for 2014

We’re excited to share the news that Oakland Voices is back and in full swing. And, we’re proud to say that one of our own Youth Leadership Board members, Sandra Muniz, is participating as one of the correspondents!  The program kicked off over the summer and will wrap up in the spring. Check out the blogs the correspondents have produced so far.  About Oakland Voices Oakland Voices is The Oakland Tribune’s 9-month program that trains East Bay residents to tell the stories of their neighborhoods. The Tribune created Oakland Voices  as a vehicle for community members to become multimedia storytellers, and to be new voices directly shaping the coverage of this region. ... Read more »

CATEGORIES: Blog, Health Happens in Neighborhoods, Narrative Change, People Power

The Numbers Behind Lift Up Oakland

A few weeks ago, our partners at Lift Up Oakland held a research briefing that was open to city staff, the media and the public. They presented research by UC Berkeley in support of their ballot initiative for raising the Oakland minimum wage from $8.00 to $12.25 with paid sick days. According to the research: More than one-quarter of all Oakland workers-up to 48,000 people-would directly or indirectly receive a wage increase if the measure passes, and roughly 56,700 would win paid sick days. Between $115 million and $126 million in additional wages would be generated by the measure.... Read more »

CATEGORIES: Blog, Economic Opportunity, Health Happens in Neighborhoods