Oakland Local

January 29, 2014–This story was removed at the request of the author.

Oakland Local is restoring this page so that comments can be seen. However, we ask that you respect the author’s request to remove his story from Oakland Local and do not repost it here. As readers know, we welcome contributions from community members that reflect their views. In this case, the author has slammed us for the reactions to his writing. We stand by our commitment to be a platform for multiple views by those who live in and care about Oakland.

Update, Feb. 5, 2014: Comments have been closed on this post.  To follow the discussions on OL about gentrification, follow this link.

53 thoughts on “District southeast of Lake Merritt organizes to create neighborhood of their dreams (Community Voices)

  1. “We were living in a virtual food desert” Are you afraid of all fo the scary people going to all of those scary markets with the funny letters on the signs that have gigantic displays of produce? A restaurant that serves pho doesn’t count as a restaurant? “Patisserie bites” cant be found at all of the bakeries that line International and E 12th Street? Community Bank of the Bay isnt good enough to keep your money and serve this area?

    It sounds as if you want to have a positive impact on the community but have no desire to actually appreciate many of the good things in the community you decided to live in.

  2. I live in this neighborhood and appreciate the landscaped medians, so thank you for that!

    But I don’t agree with calling this area a food desert. There are quite a few restaurants, and shopping options include Lucky, Trader Joe’s, and many locally owned ethnic markets around International. I’d have no problem with a more upscale store in the neighborhood but it’s a little odd that you don’t acknowledge what is already here.

  3. I really like that you’ve started a library box and plan to plant trees in the neighborhood. I’m definitely for “beautification” that is inclusive. I’m weary, however, of bringing in a lot of higher priced restaurants/grocery stores because it forces less privileged restaurants out (and eventually people). I’m all for healthy and yummy food, but please be mindful in who has access to these new places. Overall though, I really like these efforts!

  4. Be weary of anyone who uses colonizing language. e.g. “It is a mostly undiscovered, rapidly-changing neighborhood ”

    JK

    But not really.

  5. I agree with the previous comments. I know that your idea was to replace the Lucky’s with a Birite. That is creating a food desert, not eliminating one. Our neighborhood is a very mixed one and there are some very poor people who rely on the reasonable prices at Lucky’s to survive. Just because you and your 400 friends have the ability to afford higher prices doesn’t mean that you get to dictate how the rest of us live our lives. This is how you start pushing people out of the neighborhood. It is the definition of gentrification.

    Also, did you put that survey out in multiple languages? At the very least you would need to do it in Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese in order to get representation in the neighborhood. And did you distribute the survey door to door, so that people in the neighborhood that don’t have access to the Internet have their voices heard?

    If they answer to these questions is no, and I suspect it is, then you have basically asked the wealthy, mostly white, mostly recently arrived neighbors of one of the most racially diverse neighborhoods in Oakland how they would like to change the neighborhood without consulting the lower income people of color who have been holding it down in our community for years with fewer resources.

    There are so many minority owned businesses in our community that the fact that you think we live in a food desert only proves how the efforts and activities of people of color are completely invisible to you and your privileged network. I suggest you try the fresh vegetables at the Asian food markets on International and 12th St. There are about 4 or 5. I can’t even count the number of restaurants. There are two cafes on Park Blvd, numerous bars on Park and E18th, and a great business cluster that has formed around Foothill and 2nd Ave.

    The beautification is great. And you and your group probably have more time and resources to make that happen. Congrats to you on having so much privilege in your life that you can afford to think deeply about issues of aesthetics. Those folks trying to make rent, dealing with the violence in our communities, trying to figure out a way to survive in a city where everything is getting more and more expensive, and struggling with the general trauma of being poor and POC in this country, have bigger priorities. Please stop trying to act like we should all bend to your will or pat you on the back and congratulate you because your life has given you the tools know how to work the system in your favor.

    I love my neighborhood. I moved here because it was a diverse neighborhood with the services and facilities that I need. I would like to see some of the graffiti and dumping cleaned, but other than that, this is a perfect neighborhood for me and my lifestyle. Some changes are cool, those changes should be made with the input of the entire neighborhood.

  6. Thanks Dannette.

    I read this article and I thought the same things as you. I didn’t comment because I don’t live in the area.

    This article reminded me of the Swans article. It opened with Swans being boarded up. However, the writer didn’t look into why it was boarded up. It was boarded up as part of the “gentrification” of Oakland. I loved Swans. I shopped there. I was sorry to see it go. What is there now is nothing near as “vibrant” as what was there before.

    Does this writer actually think the kids now play outside because of them? “Undiscovered”? Undiscovered by whom? What arrogance!

    A neighborhood is measured by restaurants? Some communities prefer home cooked meals. Organic fruits and vegetables? C’mon now.

    Ironically, Swans had fresh fruits and vegetables and it was closed down.

    Any city official talking about the “New Oakland” should be impeached.

  7. I’ve lived in Oakland for 17 years now, and owned a home in East Oakland for the last 4. I am white, well-educated, and privileged on many levels. In my neighborhood, that puts me in the minority. First, I think it’s wonderful when people take time and energy to pour into this great city. Kudos for looking to bring more greenery to your sidewalks and public medians!

    I would hardly call that neighborhood a food desert (if you think that’s a food desert, head to deep East Oakland!), and I echo many of the valid and wise words of those who have also commented.

    I too long for there to be trees on my street, and less concrete, and a better food option to walk to than the liquor store a block and a half away from me. But I also don’t want to alienate the neighbors who have lived here for decades and decades, who mourn things like crime and theft and violence and illegal dumping, but don’t necessarily want an organic grocery store or high end restaurant. There is an awesome strip of storefronts a block from my house. Most of them are empty. If I was deciding what would go in there without considering my neighbors and what would really be welcome to most people in the neighborhood then I would want a cool cafe, a nice restaurant, a grocery store, some cool little shops. But I don’t know if that is actually what my neighborhood needs or wants in that block. So it takes time, relationship, showing up to the neighborhood meetings that have been going on for years, listening to stories from neighbors who have lived here for many years (yes, even the ones who cut down their trees and paved it over with concrete because they didn’t like all the shed leaves), trying to ask ALL the neighbors what they want (even if they speak another language or won’t fill out a survey online or even on paper.)

    I think it’s great to hear how these neighbors are working towards good things, I just hope it includes a wide range of voices, even if those voices bring a different point of view.

  8. Wait, is it true that the plan is to replace the Lucky? If so, then my original comment was much too restrained. Dannette, you are right on.

    As a somewhat privileged new neighbor here myself, I’m chagrined by the attitude displayed by Mr. Kopff. I moved here for the same reasons as Dannette, I support the existing businesses, and I don’t expect things to change to suit me. And as the excellent comments above make clear, it isn’t about me anyway.

  9. I moved to this neighborhood about a year ago too. I didn’t come from SF though, I came from Miami. If you saw me on the street I’m sure you would consider me a gentrifier, but I’m deficient in one area, and that’s having money. Honestly, I’ve never really had any money, and by money I really just mean wealth, material goods, etc, as well as actual currency. It’s created a kind of independence from the whole “have more than you did last year” thing we do here in America, and I think it’s allowed me to have this epiphany upon reading this article. “Gentrification” boils down to simple narcissism: because the neighborhood does not fit what Steven and Josh view as desirable or vibrant, then they must do something to change it! The newsletter and “poll” should be viewed with skepticism as well. I am a political consultant, and this just reminds me of the kind of overly meritorious tools that run the little homeowner’s association fiefdoms back in Florida. Steven and Josh view these actions as constructive, but it’s only constructive to their means (again, narcissism). However, they have shown their cards too early! I will be watching them now, and I suggest everyone else in the neighborhood does the same. I love getting cheap vegetables and snacks from the Sun Sang and all the others. Kevin’s Noodle House is great for quick and easy pho, but when I want a little better quality I go to Pho Ao Sen. Rainbow Cafe is open late as hell, as well as the taco trucks. Oh, and while I think it’s great that they were able to clean up some of the right-of-way and curb a little of the epic illegal dumping, I would much rather see the city handle this, since, you know, it’s why we all pay taxes. If these guys want to battle it out for the character of the neighborhood, I will be happy to align myself on the side of history rather than of money.

  10. Steve, who exactly hasn’t “discovered” the neighborhood yet? Surely you don’t mean the brown people of many ethnicities that have lived here for generations and established small businesses, including restaurants, grocers, and specialty food shops? The Intertribal Friendship House that’s been here for almost 60 years?
    If you’re afraid of trying the Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai/Laotian, Korean, Indian, and other kinds of fruits, vegetables, grains that are available in abundance in our neighborhood, perhaps you’d be more comfortable somewhere else — rather than changing the neighborhood so much that you make the rest of us uncomfortable.
    I moved to this neighborhood (I’m a relatively recent transplant too) in part because I could a) walk to any one of 3 full line grocery stores b) eat in or take away from any number of locally owned restaurants that prepare delicious, fresh foods c) enjoy a number of parks d) be around people of many different ages, ethnicities, and ability levels.
    But I’m already on the verge of being priced out as gentrification continues. Planting the medians is a gift to us all; thank you for that. But your efforts to homogenize the community are not.

  11. Rather than castigate Steve I think we should chip in and buy him a pith helmet and hire him a native guide so he can intrepidly explore the culinary wilds of East 12th and East 14th. What tales he could tell to the Bi-Rite 400 upon his safe return. Shades of Captain Spaulding. Stalking the wild nuoc mam, or the legendary nam prik mang da, or real Sri Racha sauce in a glass bottle that actually comes Chonburi Province, instead of Irwindale.

    I don’t live in the neighborhood but we’re always in transit from Fruitvale to Chinatown, and shop regularly at Long Hing, Thien Loi Hoa, Sun Hop Fat 1, and Lucky Fish Market.

    As a guide book I suggest

    http://thaifoodandtravel.com/blog/asian-markets-oakland-2/

    There’s a whole world out there to explore. Right here in East Oakland. to paraphrase Ferris Bueller, If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

  12. Pingback: Oakland Projects and Business Development - Page 134 - City-Data Forum

  13. I’m usually afraid of reading the comments sections on blogs and articles, but wow, kudos to all the commenters for their very articulate and appropriate response. I was going to comment, but you all have said it all.

    My favorite: “If you’re afraid of trying the Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai/Laotian, Korean, Indian, and other kinds of fruits, vegetables, grains that are available in abundance in our neighborhood, perhaps you’d be more comfortable somewhere else — rather than changing the neighborhood so much that you make the rest of us uncomfortable.”

    Thank you all.

  14. Steven, calling our neighborhood a food desert because it doesn’t have organic produce is a gross misuse of this term. As someone who works on the issue of food deserts, I can tell you that our neighborhood is one of the best in Oakland precisely because it has a wide arrange of options for residents from the numerous Asian markets to Lucky’s (which even has an organic produce section, albeit small). We are also within walking distance of great farmer’s markets. And in terms of restaurants, there are many who have been local community establishments for decades like Pho Ao Sen or Champa Garden or Mi Rancho tacos.

    Also I find it unsettling that you focus first on the diversity of architecture than on the diversity of the people in this neighborhood.

    I appreciate your beautification efforts and as your neighbor, I’d be happy to show you around the local markets (which will not break your bank even when you buy in bulk) and my favorite restaurants and introduce you to the wonderful people working to provide these services to the community. I’d also be up for talking to you about what I love about our community and what I find problematic about your portrayal of it.

  15. “Also, did you put that survey out in multiple languages? At the very least you would need to do it in Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese in order to get representation in the neighborhood. And did you distribute the survey door to door, so that people in the neighborhood that don’t have access to the Internet have their voices heard?” -Dannette

    Well said!

  16. Ecaterina Burton-
    Great comment! This article was confusing to me because as I was reading it I thought, “wait a minute, this is my neighborhood!” I moved here less than a year ago and part of what made us decide on the area was how close it is to Lake Merritt, multiple public transportation options, and how friendly the neighbors seemed.

    I wish there was some way to take you up on your offer to the author! I’d love to be shown your favorite markets and restaurants!

  17. Wonderful comments! Very happy to see this response. Restores my faith in an Oakland that has been so rapidly changing lately.

  18. I am glad to see that many of my concerns were addressed in the comments. Why would you want to change the diversity you love and carbon copy the neighborhood you left?

  19. “To shop for groceries, I found myself driving fifteen minutes or more to find a store that had enough variety in offerings and that didn’t break the bank.”

    So you’d like to replace Lucky with another Whole Foods doppelganger. You DO realize there’s a Whole Foods already, and that many of us were hoping that it would have been made ANYTHING BUT a Whole Foods, because now there’s yet another grocer we can’t afford to use.

    Lake Shore Avenue is a few blocks from you, on the east side of 580 it runs parallel to Grand Avenue. Both of those streets are pretty close and offer TONS of the type of restaurants you’re looking for. 16% of your neighbors are asian, 25% of them are black, what percentage of your “survey” responders were black or asian?

  20. I don’t understand why people move from SF, and then complain that Oakland doesn’t have Bi-Rites. Has it ever occurred to these transplants that many Oaklanders don’t want/need shops that sell $5.00 organic cauliflower? Gross.

    Thank to everyone else in these comments who is representing Oakland.

  21. As someone born and raised in the East Bay (Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond), I have found myself reading Steve’s e-mails and wondering what he’s doing in my neighborhood. I, too, want to see more storefronts occupied in Brooklyn, but I would like them to be run by local business owners who have a personal interest in helping the neighborhood continue to thrive. There are so many places I can walk to for groceries, food, etc. yes, it would be great to have more of the same, but I don’t want “high-end” expensive markets pushing out the people who have been serving the neighborhood for so long. Please don’t make Brooklyn go the way of other Oakland neighborhoods; let’s learn from past mistakes and keep our neighborhood beautiful while also keeping all our residents. I can’t afford to live most other places in Oakland, and I don’t want to have to move from my home.

  22. It is somewhat ironic that the author with the colonialist language and thrust bought the old Victorian that used to house the center for third world organizing.

  23. so many difficulties with this article, but i’ll just focus on the most puzzling, like so many of you already have, the food desert issue. personally very hilarious to me, as my husband and I, when we lived in Fruitvale, rode our bikes to this neighborhood every Saturday because of all the great grocery options. this article is a trainwreck!

  24. Not only is Oakland the place that I have called home for a little over 8 years but I will be moving to this neighborhood in the summer. Everything that I wanted to say has been expressed very eloquently many times over, so I just wanted to say thank you for all the comments that speak not only to this article but also this way of thinking.

  25. I lived on E16th and 7th for years, and, while reading the comments makes me proud of my people, reading the article and really confronting the mindset of the gentrifiers is bith deoressing and infuriating. I used to play tennis on the courts where it was all black and the newly arrived southeast asian folks playing each other peacefully, even when we didn’t “get” each other culturally – there was respect and lots of laughter. I adopted my cat from the family-owned corner store, and they had a bunch of sons whom I feel like I watched grow up. I watched La Estrellita go from a little storefront to this huge successful restaurant. And to call that neighborhood a “food desert” is to abuse the meaning of the phrase. I discovered all kinds of crazy sights and smells in those markets that prompted me to ask questions and to cook! I started using coconut milk and improvising a curry chicken recipe because of those markets. Most importantly, my son started his life there. But these gentrifiers talk about the place like all that beauty was just wasted on us. Some things never change, and the colonial mindset seems to be one of them Like the Intertribal Friendship house, we were here before you. I hope the writers of this article listen to the words of their neighbors, and I hope the long-term neighbors follow up.

  26. Wow. Internet comments are almost never constructive or thoughtful, but the thoughts shared above are incredibly respectful, righteous, and right-on. Rather than dismssing potentially alienating Steve with abusive language (which would, given the unbelievably tone-deaf and offensive content of his piece, be totally understandable) ya’ll laid out the facts with much grace and clarity, but without sacrificing honesty. Hopefully Steve will be able to take these comments to heart and really truly think about what his words and actions are doing to his neighbors and ‘community’—otherwise, those neighbors who wave to him are gonna be doing something else soon enough, and the walk from his meticulously restored Victorian to the fancy artisan vegan dog treat food truck is gonna be a long and lonely one.

  27. I am “weary” of people who use language like “colonize” in regards to others, as though wanting a better neighborhood is the same as being a slave trader.

  28. I’ve been out of town on a mini-sabbatical, but want to share how great the discussion and dialogue is around this opinion piece. Please fo remember Oakland local welcomes community voices pieces on individual views…and great discussion of those views!

  29. “After a careful search for the right location, we now call the neighborhood of Clinton home. It is a mostly undiscovered, rapidly-changing neighborhood to the southeast of Lake Merritt not far from Jack London Square.” LOL WHAT? The neighborhood was “undiscovered? Before when? Before white people “found it”?

  30. “we were here before you.” – Wrong, Some of the people moving back were descendants of the original Oaklanders. There were here before the “White Flight”. Oakland was predominantly white half a century ago. If the majority of the current residents were really here before “us”, there would’ve been a lot more Chinese supermarkets instead of the man-made Lake Merritt that is the beauty of Oakland today.

  31. Steve-

    We have to be better than this. Seriously.

    You and I know about a certain kind of struggle. The one that says people with more access to the tools of power and policy, more financial tools to market their world view, and more freedom of movement through job security, housing practices that favor them, and even access to their limited notions of marriage can tell us how to live our lives based on their interests and values.

    They’ve done that with very little thought that we live in their world. They’ve done that without knowing us well enough to start to care about us. They’ve done that while reaping massive benefits because of their position.

    Don’t be that guy. Build relationships. Learn about the community. Don’t just try to change it.

    Release yourself from the idea that you are a pioneer. Do we really need to go over this again and again? Come to think of it we do. It’s going to take some work on your part, but I promise, as someone who is in the practice of doing this, that transforming your thinking here is going to serve you much better than not doing so. You have discovered nothing. Nothing. It’s the height of ignorance to speak as if you have. Don’t be Columbus. We already had one of him. No. Try to be that guy who shows up and listens deeply. Who notices what is around him. Who sees the incredible entrepreneurship and ability it takes to run all the food markets and restaurants you don’t see but your neighbors are offering to show you. Be that guy who takes a beautiful building like the Center for Third World Organizing and shares the history of it with the people you welcome into your home. Be that guy who learns Oakland in some of the layers underneath your own desire to shift it into something beautiful.

    We gay white guys have an opportunity here. Think of how it feels to be told how you live must change. How some lives are erasable.

    You can do this. You seem really invested. Invest in the the reality that is around you before you build a change narrative. Remember how it feels to be left out and for people to make assumptions about your entire life based on knowing very little about you.

    Oakland, and the community you live in, is PACKED with awesome people who have made this town important. Who have literally changes the face of food politics in the nation. Who have lifted up voices often unheard using art, words, community building and policy. You have moved to a place where people from around the world are rooted and thriving in a world that finds many ways to tell them not to. They’ve fought job killing policies, xenophobia, redlining, police brutality, and more. Many have traveled far.

    Oakland is full of teachers. I highly recommend becoming a student and embracing the opportunity to see your community differently.

  32. I would like to nominate you to write a “community piece” for this site as a response to this article! I’m gonna write the editors and suggest it. Hopefully you’re interested!

  33. Another question to ask of Steve: Whose dreams are being fulfilled here? Neighborhood of “their” dreams or neighborhood of YOUR dreams? Big difference there. Because it’s totally legit that the neighborhood of YOUR dreams include a BiRite and lush medians and zero individuals suffering from mental illnesses—but is that the dream for everyone?

  34. When we purchased our home in the 70′s on the Park Blvd/E. 18th major shopping area there was: a movie theatre, butcher, produce store, multiple restaurants, a book store, laundry/dry cleaners, dentists, optometrists, doctors, at least one drug store, a large Wells Fargo plus smaller banks and THREE LARGE GROCERY STORES. We had a Safeway, a Lucky and a branch of the Berkeley Coop which has bins of grains, beans, etc. Seniors Housing had been built in the neighborhood because the neighborhood was “full service and within walking distance” of residents and was pedestrian friendly. We had auto mechanics, a vibrant recreational center complete with preschool at the Borax Smith center. I recall that the only thing we were missing was a gas station. The buses ran often and public transportation in and out of the neighborhood was convenient. The E.12th and E. 14th (International Blvd) had been all but abandoned at that time and the Grand/Lakeshore shopping areas were really a shadow of what they once were and what they are again becoming.

    The Lake Merritt Business Association along with multiple City agencies and officials has fought long and hard to attract services back to the area and to reduce the crime and grime that accumulated in the area over the years. Somehow I don’t believe these activities should be characterized as “colonizing” or “gentrifiying.” Hats off to new residents who have the energy to participate and create a liveable service area which serves all the residents.

    By the way, as a piece of history of the neighborhood. In the 1980′s lots of the real estate in Brooklyn (yes, Brooklyn) was purchased with Hong Kong money and by the first wave of Vietnam immigrants and the groups being “colonized” were then all the Laotian, Thai, Cambodian peoples who were moving into the neighborhood and being sponsored by churches here. It is this piece of immigrant history that drove the development of the Eastlake District and needed services.

  35. To be clear, I am nominating ACJ, above, to write another article with a somewhat different take on the neighborhood–if different community voices are welcome here, surely that would benefit the site…

  36. Wow, I won’t use the G-word but…

    You seem to have good intentions. Unfortunately, you are being very cavalier about the fact that this IS and WAS a lovely neighborhood LONG before you got there. How about showing respect for the diversity that exists, and the small businesses that are attempting to make a living while dealing with the mentality that you have that ignores their existence. This has NEVER been a “food desert.” My goodness, how precious of you to move into a neighborhood and decide that it doesn’t have what YOU want (expensive food) so you are intent on razing what people long before you have worked hard to build, despite the fact that what you are changing will greatly affect the working class citizens who have lived in this neighborhood years before you and years after you decide it’s not “Brooklyn” enough for you.

    I am sure you are a good person. Think twice about what you wrote because it is greatly steeped in a mentality that is detrimental to the diversity of class and race that makes Oakland great.

  37. As a Bi Rite worker and Oakland resident, I’m appalled that Bi Rite is the kind of store this gentrifier wants to have come here. A warning to everyone else on this forum: DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN! Having a Bi Rite open around International would be a terrible thing to happen and would rapidly transform this neighborhood into a place safe for white yuppies like the author.

  38. So, you crowdsource the community into realizing your dream neighborhood… bring in a bi rite, fix up the medians, spruce up the corners…
    only to turn around and repay the community with a likely rise in their rents due to your “improvements.” Your dream neighborhood is the nightmare that has caused Brooklyn to surpass San Francisco in rent prices…

  39. I have lived around the corner from the purple mansion for almost 15 years. on my block are African American, Mexican, Filipino, White, and Chinese. Nearby are many Mong and Bhutanese and Vietnamese communities to name a few
    I have cherished the sounds and sights of the various communities since the day I “discovered” my neighborhood 15 years ago (I am a white minority here and yes it took some getting used to, having never actually lived in a diverse neighborhood before)
    The haunting (strange to me) warbly dissonant sounds of a Vietnamese man doing karaoke at top volume in the evening wafting into my house while I cook dinner, the top volume polka music lighting up the night with sounds of laughter of 3 generations of Mexicans celebrating a Quinceanera under a full moon and a blue tarp, the sounds of crowds of kids cheering god knows what coming from the city camps at the purple mansion, the Baptist Church rocking out with the sweet sounds of a community singing praises at the top of their lungs, the Soul, African and Reggae bands blasting the hood at festivals at the San Antonio park, the deafening whiteout of fireworks on the corner celebrating Chinese New Year that go on all night….
    These sounds have given me and my neighborhood life. and mystery. There is much i don’t know of my neighbors but these sounds make me know and care about them in a very meaningful way.
    The fertile gardens in many front yards that grow in cement in 5 gallon buckets are intriguing and wild looking a speak to a community that knows how to feed itself. the laundry hanging outside speaks to a community that knows the value of sunshine, the blue tarp and plastic crate chair shacks are refuge to neighbors gossiping and playing mahjong into the night…
    I have never taken for granted the diversity and the freedom here in my neighborhood east of the lake.
    Since the arrival of Steven J. Kopff and his partner many of these sweet sounds have gone silent. the Mexican compound has been complained against one too many time. they now huddle in whispers and turned down boom boxes in a more sound sheltered courtyard for their gatherings.
    A chinese family was forced by them to move an ancient long standing retaining wall back two feet.
    what next?

  40. I’d like to see the original article reposted. If Mr. Kopff has changed his views since posting it, maybe he can write a new article responding to some of the comments here instead?

  41. so Steven has deleted his article.
    im so glad the comments are still here. this has been his habit. in his offensive email list and his facebook propaganda page he deletes anyone who questions his motives and agenda. refusing to dialog with the community around him….

  42. I’m curious to learn how the author is responding to these posts. Sounds like he was interested to hear the voices of the area’s inhabitants. Now, what will be his response? I don’t know what to think about him taking down his original article, rather than acknowledging what the real people of Oakland have to say about his ideas.

  43. Thank you Oaklanders for speaking up against gentrification and the displacement of our residents and small businesses. We at Just Cause / Causa Justa, have been working with a community people and organizations to make sure that tenants and low-income homeowners who have built their lives in Oakland, can stay here through the “Good economic times,” not just the bad ones. As you may know, a lot of development and investment is coming to International Blvd., San Antonio, and East Oakland generally over the next several years. It will take your brilliance, your organizing and your action to make sure that development serves long-term community residents, not people like the author of this article, who appear to care more about median strips than working-class people. http://www.cjjc.org

  44. Why didn’t the author respond to the comments? Was he surprised by the negative reaction? If so why? Why didn’t other gentrifiers support his article?

  45. You go man! Show them all how our grandparents felt when their kind moved in and drove them out with crime, violence, drugs and filth. Clean it up so property tax doubles and rent triples and we will have an awesome place to live

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