Let me start by saying I was born and raised in Oakland and so was my mom. I am second generation Oakland grown and I came from a poor family and lived in lower-class neighborhoods surrounded by section 8 apartment complexes patrolled by the Oakland Housing Authority.
I love what’s happening to my city. It may be the best Oakland’s ever been. But then again I’ve only been around since 1979.
We’ve recently made all sorts of “top list” and places to visit and so on. I’ll touch more on that later.
UPDATE: 2023 Edition
That was all stated back around 2008 when Oakland was making positive movements. Something happened between 2008 and now and it has gone far downhill.
I actually can’t stand the word and the way people use it.
Nowadays when you hear the word gentrification it is often thought of as “white people moving in and pushing out other races of low income”.
The actual definition is as follows:
Definition of GENTRIFICATION: The process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.
So as you see, by definition it is a neighborhood getting better, prettier, offering more options, more places to work, more companies moving in, better housing, and so on(all terrible things).
Oakland Has Rent Control
People are not being “pushed out” of Oakland. I have rent control and while everyone moving into my neighborhood is paying $400 to $800 more than me right now it did not push me out. My proxy Orinda-based landlord abuses these increases too and I have had to appeal via the rent adjustment board.
People are not being evicted or forced to move(without reason, there are a few cases but it is not the standard).
Update: While I did have rent control, the new landlord wanted me out so he could fill the unit at triple the price. I chose to move out of Oakland even though I had rent control. It was a blessing in disguise, leaving Oakland after 34 years was the best thing I ever did and I did leave right on time. Oakland died after 2014.
The rent board laws in Oakland protect you really well from false evictions. My gentrifying proxy Orinda’s landlord has been trying to get me out since he bought the foreclosing building 3 years ago. I’ve been in this unit for over 10 years. He could have never made me leave. I made the choice.
(Update, I moved out of Oakland, screw that guy, more later. keep reading)
Original Oaklanders Sold Their Houses
How can rent go up to begin with? Selling and selling and selling.
The first wave of people actually left willingly and sold their houses making the current situation possible. People were selling their own homes that they’d had forever. Some of them even passed down through deceased parents. Now that the value has increased greatly they are choosing to move to other less expensive safer locations with better school districts but that’s their own personal smart choice. If this is the reason they are leaving in numbers then so be it. They choose to do so themselves and the home has probably been bought and fixed up(usually just painted) adding to the neighborhood. So keep that in mind as we move on. Oaklanders raised the price by selling. Many to corporations, and asset management firms that just resell and resell over and over. Some to “flippers” who just put a couple of grand into the house and then resold for an extra hundred grand. Oakland allows this so it is the city that failed to protect its residents. Some sold to greedy landlords that keep the units empty and use them for AirBnB because the City of Oakland allows them. Remember, the City of Oakland does not care about you if they allow this.
Anyways, what about the people who did not sell their house and decided to stay in the now upcoming neighborhood?
They are getting more options, more places to shop, eat at, work at, drink at, etc.
I will also say my neighborhood is untouched, has no new options, is still ghetto, and even has more crime now. I have not “benefited” from close to home improvements but my landlord is still ripping new tenants off because he has to because he bought it from an Oaklander selling to make money. The only reason the rent went up is because of hand changing for profit. Nothing more.
Price Of Food Going Up?
Oakland is wrecked. Nothing is really affordable to eat out anymore. Even at the time of writing this what used to be my favorite burrito truck, the burritos went from $3.50 to $5.50 and that was a pretty big deal. But now, they are $15 for a lower-quality version of the burrito. Oakland is out of hand.
The once overpriced at $17 2Fat2Skate burger is now $21 dollars
What once was $13 Mac n Cheese is now $16. So as you can see they all scaled prices differently but raised them nonetheless.
Why is that?
Is it because instead of Oakland fixing the rent crisis they raised the minimum wage? That did not make life more affordable, that made everything more expensive. A worse solution.
The thing is they know this. It is an attack on you the people disguised as “helping you out”.
As for the overpriced food in Oakland, all you can do is boycott them. Refuse to pay those prices and they will bring them down or go out of business. And so many restaurants have gone out of business due to their greed. Thy of course blame other things and now blame COvid which really means the City of Oakland for forcing them to lock their doors.
At this point though, any business that had a vaccine mandate must be boycotted at all costs. Oakland does not need these employers.
Back to overpriced Oakland food. A lot of food downtown doesn’t even care about Oakland at all. The stores pop up Monday through Friday during work hours, serve the 925’ers who BART in and work in or around downtown Oakland, then they close and go home after work and they do not return on weekends. How could you support them?
Whole Foods is too expensive!
Yeah it is!!!! But no one is forcing you to go to the new expensive Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. But if you do go, you may find some cheaper healthy alternatives on some items.
But before those guys moved in, where did you go? You really have always only had 2 options, Safeway and Lucky’s. So thank those new guys for moving in.
Sitting here trying to think about it I would say there are zero grocery stores in West Oakland. Maybe it needs a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s? And Whole Foods was an abandoned car lot so it didn’t hurt anyone by setting up shop there.
Some say it increased the rents of the area but those people are idiots. Whole Foods does not have a rent increasing committee in cahoots with your landlord. The truth is your greedy landlord, who has no boss, increased your rent because they want to travel the world more on your dime.
Safeway isn’t leaving……
You always have the limited Safeway and Lucky’s around Oakland whether or not Whole Foods and TJ’s pop up.
If the price of food at Safeway goes up it’s not because the neighborhood got better or “gentrified”, it’s because the cost of living goes up in general. And now Bidenomics and inflation. That Safeway has the same prices here in Oakland as anywhere else in the Bay.
And get this, now you can order organic groceries from Amazon/Whole Foods.
I personally have started trying to eat healthier and am thankful for Whole Foods even though it is costing me a lot more. But without it, I would be stuck with no options.
What I don’t get is that a city undergoing such a major improvement would usually show a decrease in crime however Oakland’s crime rate is on the rise! Oakland also just made the robbery capital of America 2 years running. The more unsuspecting newcomers to Oakland walking around with their iPhones out, the more targets for the existing criminals to prey on. Crime has gone way up and mostly robberies. So one could say gentrification is helping the “economy” for some? Joking, this has to stop and our city has to get it together and get rid of this network of activity. We need to get the Oakland Police Helicopter flying again(after my article Mayor Jean Quan DID get it flying again!).
The Oakland Police Department has said the increase in robberies is due to the decrease in drug sales. But several months ago they said that with all the large drug busts and dealers off of the streets, the crime rates would go down. So it backfired?
This kind of makes sense, you don’t allow the usual suspects to sell weed(or other drugs) on the corner and they turn to other means to get money. But did OPD even decrease drug sales or did the booming Oakland Weed Economy decrease drug sales? Buy weed from a shady thug on the corner, or go to a nice weed superstore? I think it’s obvious OPD had nothing to do with that.
Local economy and investment in the long run?
One possible outcome is the new local booming economy will provide a lot of tax revenue for the city and local committees and organizations will push for more public safety.
So in the long run crime rates could go down if the City of Oakland plays its cards right.
Lack of police = more private security.
There are already neighborhoods plagued with high crime and robberies that are crowdsourcing and hiring their own private security patrols. Some neighborhoods have reported a sharp decrease in criminal activities since they hired private security.
For some insane reason they have been labeled as racist gentrifiers and ridiculed for this. If the City of Oakland can not provide safety then who will? Why are we mad at people for trying to improve our city for everyone?
Is it only the criminals who are mad? Calling out “whitey” and telling us to go home? What if we’re from here? I have been seeing this spray-painted around my neighborhood and Lake Merritt. Part of me thinks some white anarchist that moved here 3 years ago is doing it.
Are there actually hard-working “minority families” who don’t mind run-down houses, blight and crime in the neighborhood?
How come no one is mad at a bank or taco truck for hiring a security guard? It’s normal to protect yourself and if Oakland can’t and the residents will, then that is awesome.
Keep in mind no one is mad Nasty Pelosi and other hate spreaders have private security and walls.
People are upset that some residents have pitched in a measly $20 a month for private security patrols to ensure they won’t be robbed and they ask why can’t they do that for schools.
Maybe they don’t have kids? The real question is why can’t YOU do that for schools? Take action, do something, stop blaming everyone else. You let Oakland get this way and now you combat newcomers with innovative ideas trying to make it better. Don’t be dead weight.
With the neighborhoods getting better and the theory of more community involvement comes the possibility for better public schools, more volunteers, parents getting involved and overall improvement for the Oakland Unified School District. This is much needed. But existing deadbeat residents must get involved too instead of resisting new residents’ attempts to better Oakland neighborhoods.
This is my class photo from Fruitvale Elementary, 1986. I am the white guy.
I’m curious as to what a class photo would look like now. If you have a class photo from Fruitvale in recent years please post it in the comments or email it to me.
Everyone is crying and blaming the evil banks for foreclosing their homes.
Currently, in Oakland, there are thousands of vacant homes(most of them in West Oakland) that have been foreclosed.
Why? Well, because people who did not have the money to begin with borrowed money and bought things they could not afford.
Honestly, I have no pity for them as they chose to put themselves in the situation. You and I had the option, but did we buy something we knew we couldn’t?
Oh but the banks were misleading and lied to them!
They STILL went and tried to buy something they couldn’t so it was their own decision to buy the home. The banks did not make them buy a home.
I would like to see statistics as to who the people are that bought these homes and foreclosed in Oakland because I still feel that was mostly outsiders and transplants. Not forcing any long time residents out. The likely real story is that long-time residents willfully sold their homes at super-inflated prices to the fools who are now foreclosed.
When I moved into my last building 10 years ago all was well, rent was only $735. That guy foreclosed and the new evil Orinda guy bought the place. But the foreclosed landlord bought the building from an original Oakland resident who was smart enough to sell when the market was inflated. See? That is the true case example and not the made up Oaklander’s being pushed out.
Oaklander’s are smart, they left like I did. By choice.
Residents were selling their homes and moving out before the crash. That is what made these homes available to buy and foreclose on in the first place.
A foreclosed home actually brings the value of the surrounding property down and increases crime in Oakland.
There are thousands of these abandoned houses collecting graffiti, decaying, becoming overgrown, and inhabited by people conducting illegal activity.
I guess my problem is these homes have been VACANT the entire time! These vacant homes could be rented out at the current market value and that would flood the market driving the cost of rent down.
The city of Richmond is actually trying to use eminent domain and seize the homes back from the banks. I think this is a great idea.
Then maybe they could be sold at market value and again bring the cost back down.
Like I was saying, I do have a problem with the cost of rent but this is a corporate America greed thing and not anyone’s fault for moving here. In fact, people are moving here from San Francisco because the system(not the people) has ruined prices there forcing others to move to run down Oakland neighborhoods that they can afford. If a byproduct of that is fixing the neighborhood up to a livable standard then please, by all means, do.
Where is Oakland “Gentrifying”?
This excerpt is from Wikipedia on the subject and actually nails the current neighborhoods being gentrified and makes sense as to why East Oakland has been left alone.
From a market standpoint, there are two main requirements that are met by the U.S. cities that undergo substantial effects of gentrification. These are an excess supply of deteriorated housing in central areas, as well as a considerable growth in the availability of professional jobs located in central business districts. These conditions have been met in the U.S. largely as a result of suburbanization and other postindustrial phenomena.
Most of what is happening is near Downtown, Lake Merritt, Temescal, Uptown, and West Oakland.
It seems that East Oakland is remaining mostly untouched at this point and could really use some help.
The larger part of Oakland(East Oakland) remains how it has always been. All of the new establishments are in centralized areas with access to all.
If you ask me East Oakland could use a LOT of help but it may be a while before outsiders start moving into that mess and fixing it up. I predict Fruitvale first because the neighborhood has been undergoing improvements and it’s near BART.
But here is a good example, all new retail, and streets being repaved and parking lots and so on for the existing residents. Yet it’s still a bleak economic crime-ridden black hole.
According to a presentation by EPA’s Charles Lee, a longtime leader in environmental justice, the neighborhood’s ethnicity mix is 52 percent Latino; 23 percent Pacific Islanders; 16 percent African American; 7 percent white; and 3 percent Native American and others.
How did Oakland get ghetto?
Oakland actually used to be full of beautiful Victorian mansions, predominantly white and middle to upper-class. What changed was during World War II Kaiser(yes the insurance company) built several shipyards around the Bay Area including Oakland, Richmond and San Francisco. They set up shop here mass producing “Liberty Ships” for the war. African Americans were actually allowed to work in these shipyards and moved out here in the masses to escape racism in the South. They were paid more here than they could get anywhere else but still faced racism and lumped themselves together in communities like West Oakland. Chinese had a similar situation, created China Town and thrived. WHat was the difference?
Anyways, masses of blacks gathering sparked “white flight” and all of the wealthier middle to upper-class white people moved out leaving behind a beautiful victorian laced neighborhood that was destroyed and run down by the new residents over the years leaving behind the ghetto West Oakland we now know.
Some people will argue that “red lines” forced the African Americans to live in these areas and would not allow them to move out to the nicer areas like Piedmont and the hills, but that still does not change the fact that the people living in the community there trashed it and set the pace for the future. There is no one to blame other than the actual people left behind living there.
Sure, after the war was over the shipyard ghetto had a higher unemployment rate but that is still no excuse to ruin a beautiful neighborhood. When I am unemployed I do not go out trashing my city. I take that time to work on this site and show love for my city.
The only people to blame for the ugly beat up housing now are the current or in some cases old owners. They made Oakland ugly, no one but them.
I can understand though, if I owned a house I wouldn’t feel like painting it, keeping the front yard clean, taking care of the sidewalk out front, etc. But that’s why I don’t own a house! Stop ruining the city and blaming others. It is YOUR house, fix it up, clean up your neighborhood or sell the house and move to Tracy. But if YOU sell it to a rich guy from Orinda then you know whoever moves in will be paying a lot more. You did this. You “gentrified” by moving out of your ugly unmaintained house for profit.
The dirty neighborhoods of West Oakland.
What’s happening in West Oakland and Jack London is kind of awesome. Old abandoned warehouses are being renovated and turned into bars, restaurants, art galleries, warehouse shared work living spaces, and lofts. Building reuse in vacant areas is never a bad thing.
A lot of these become artist communities full of innovation and design.
Victorians that were destroyed and run down are being renovated and brought back to life and sold to residents that will take care of them and keep the neighborhood looking good.
Slowly but surely, blight is being removed.
Gentrification, The Real Problem?
Now with that, all said the real true one problem is the people who do NOT live in Oakland. The people like my evil landlord who live in Orinda, buying up foreclosed homes here, slapping a paint job on, and raising the rent by $400 to $800. This is truly the one only single problem. THEY decide the rent and THEY decide who they rent to. THEY are the ones discriminating and the ones charging way too much and trying as hard as they can to evict tenants like me. Born in Oakland.
They will never live in Oakland and they are only proxy gentrifiers. They have to be stopped, rules have to be instated. My proxy landlord makes $130,000 a year on others sweat and tears so he and his wife can travel all the time on my dime. Landlords should have to work for their money and not prey on a busted system while ruining a city.
The City of Oakland is HIGHLY to blame as well. Maybe even mostly to blame. Look around, do you see any new housing going up? I mean we need like big apartment complexes. Sky rises. In my life span I have seen very very little development in Oakland as far as new buildings and structures. You can’t move forward 3 decades into the population booming technology-driven future without building massive housing complexes to accommodate the influx of population. Oakland and San Francisco failed to do this and we’re paying dearly now.
All this failure while allowing hundreds of thousands of illegals to flood the city. This takes residential space, and raises your rent.
I don’t know if Jean Quan was reading my blog or what, but she suddenly confirmed my statements of the real problem(proxy landlords) and says she will be building 10,000 new homes in Oakland. That’s a start, but we need like 50k to even start to catch up.
City staffers are also keenly aware of Oakland’s need for more affordable housing. Margaretta Lin, director of strategic initiatives, noted that city property owners lost about 14,000 homes due to foreclosure during the housing crisis. As the Express has reported, large-scale investors purchased a substantial number of those homes and then turned them into rental properties, and are now charging rents that many longtime city residents cannot afford. “The escalation of rent prices has been extraordinary,” Lin said.
It’s like they came here and rethought the whole thing. And that’s interesting to know that only 14k people foreclosed. Proving that Oakland residents are largely safe and selling their homes on their own free will and moving out to furthermore affordable suburbs with less crime. Let’s see if these cities get ghetto over the next 10 years.
Google Buses and BART
Of course, now you have transplant hipsters in San Francisco protesting Google Buses saying that they are causing gentrification. This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard from a bunch of gentrifiers. The buses are saving the environment by transporting magnitudes of people to work in carpools. They argue that Google caused people to move to SF from Ohio for better jobs taking up the housing from poor people. No, Frisco forgot to build new houses and the future happened.
So then why are people not protesting BART? West Oakland BART is the reason West Oakland has become a hot spot for renters who used to live in San Francisco and still work there. Same with McArthur BART and downtown. Next will surely be Fruitvale.
I guess you should be praising BART and again blaming the city for not allowing for residential expansion and building planning.
Also don’t forget the proxy landowners from wealthy cities that buy the housing up and rent it out for way more than it’s worth.
Do not blame the tenant that works a good job for being able to afford that place. The resident or as you like to call them “gentrifier” is still getting ripped off by the proxy landlord.
This is the Google Bus Stop at 21-Hayes between 6:15 and 9:15am.
Amazingly efficient and very needed right? Can you imagine if all those people drove their individual Prius’s to work? The Google buses run like 5 times more frequently than the unused San Francisco Muni bus. Seriously, watch that and then try to tell me you are against the Google bus.
you should have seen how wack the 1R bus stop on East 14th and 8th Ave was every morning. I wish it was chill like this.
Maybe instead of protesting your neighborhood getting better, you should fight for laws on out of city landlords? That would be the best option in my opinion.
Fight for laws for out of city employees too.
Fight for laws against owning more than one house at a time in the city.
Every morning I have to ride BART to San Francisco for work because I can’t find a job in my own city. But as I am going down into the 12th Street BART station it is all people from Orinda, Walnut Creek, San Francisco, and so on getting off the train and working in downtown Oakland. Which, you know they are allowed to do but if the City of Oakland made employers hire say 70% local that would change everything. For the economy, environment, future, and beyond.
Rent It Out!
Sorry, I had to. (How ironic that a few years after this article I moved to Portland, the better city)
It’s not Oakland’s job to stay ghetto, business less, poor, and ugly so that a few people who aren’t doing anything for themselves can live here.
Instead of crying that people are chipping in to provide security because they’re tired of being robbed, maybe you should start a campaign and chip in for what you want. Schools? After school programs? Whatever you think will fix it, do it yourselves. Take action like the new residents are.
I am pro gentrification, whatever that means, and want my city to improve, expand and get better.
I am anti landlord and rent gouging and know that’s the real problem.
I am very upset at the housing situation but again, that is the city of Oakland’s fault and the proxy landlords like mine. Not the new residents.
Update: Moving out of Oakland was the best thing I ever did. I can’t believe I spent my whole life there. I guess I just didn’t know any better.
Subscribe for my upcoming article on the matter.
If you are dead weight, don’t do anything for yourself or your city, don’t have a job or try to get one, live a life of crime, hate new residents, cry about positive change, and are an overall part of the problem in Oakland, I would like to see you “pushed out” ASAP.
You belong in Antioch, Tracy, Modesto, or wherever people are being pushed to. Oakland has places to go, and people to see.
You do not need to be so close to San Francisco, downtown Oakland, major transportation, real jobs, new food and entertainment establishments, and so on.
Don’t make some random persons opinion your facts!
Now about these top list that spread like wildfire. That shows the strong love of Oakland from all the newcomers.
The most recent one was kind of BS and just a great advertising ploy to rise living costs.
This no one site dubbed Oakland the most exciting city in America, but if you look deeper they really just picked the hottest housing markets and linked to all of their houses on the market to pull in a nice commission. Brilliant.
They are not an authority and have likely never been here or to any of those cities. But because it was an advertisement, they paid all the local news affiliates to post it and then because people are sheep, it manipulated their strong Oakland pride, so they posted an advertisement without being paid all over Facebook. Such a great marketing campaign.
What gets me is how people act as if something on the internet makes it so. I love my city but won’t call it the most exciting city in America because I read it on a commission-based site.
Update: That same site puts out a new top or best list about Oakland every few months. And many other cities with housing rental price problems. You guys keep falling for it and reposting it and they keep earning commissions on home sales.
Another list dubbed Oakland the 10th most walkable city in the nation. REALLY?
They based it on the stretch of 14th from Broadway to Lake Merritt. Not even the actual Lake Merritt, just the stretch before.
Which I walk almost every day.
That sidewalk is so uneven you may break your ankle, it has bus stop benches in the middle of the path with streams of urine flowing from behind them, people get robbed there all of the time, and there are no real places you would want to stop, nowhere to sit, relax, hang out and cell phone reception is spotty at times.
Riding your bike down that street is sketchy too because you’re so close to the cars and there is no bike lane.
Another BS list that was posted all over the internet by zombies who value the opinion of some random person writing an article.
NY Times(aka one guy who wrote an article) said that Oakland is the number 5 vacation must-visit spot in the world? THAT is a joke. I could think of a thousand better places to vacation.
So people posted this all over as “NY Times”. But there are many schmucks who “blog” aka “write articles” for the NY Times. One idiot’s opinion. You made it a “fact”.
The way I see it the guy came here for a few weeks, gathered some info, and was paid by a few local restaurants for a spot in the NY Times. We all know Oakland is NOT in the top 5 must-visit cities in the world.
All I’m saying is don’t make someone else’s opinion your fact. Think for yourself.
And stop acting like you’re so against gentrification when you yourself moved here recently or 10 years ago. YOU are the force that you dislike. You should be taking it out on the proxy landlords deciding the rent prices.
Let’s go Oakland!
Keep getting better!
I Moved To Portland for 4 years until it got wrecked by the same crowd that wrecked Oakland and am now in Vegas which is actively getting wrecked by Californians fleeing their own kind.
I got so sick of my lame Orinda landlords crazy stunts, crime rising, food being too expensive, public transportation sucking, people being mad at me for being white, the new Oakland residents being so damn weird and cliche, lack of jobs, lack of food options, etc that I bailed on my home city.
I always thought Oakland was so awesome, maybe because I did not know any better? But after one random trip to Portland, I moved right away. Best choice I ever made.
As for the show Portlandia? Oakland is 10x more that show than Portland is. I really think all of those people moved to Oakland.
Subscribe for an update and a full-length article as to why I left my city and love my new city way more. But whatever you do, STAY there. Do not follow me to Portland.
But really, I will be launching PortlandMofo soon and you can still follow me on Instagram. Because I am saving my photos for the new site it is not as active but will be again soon.
I also still have new articles coming for OaklandMofo. I have lived there my entire life and could write about plenty even from Portland so please do subscribe.
Featured Reader Comment On Gentrification
This comment by Just Collins, who grew up in Oakland as well, was worth more than just falling into the line so I decided to feature it for you all to read.
“It’s a wrap for old school, kill or be killed ‘Cokeland’. It’s 2015, all the crack baby criminals have either grown up, been killed or sentenced. I am a 25 year old black man, been in Oakland my whole life. I’ve PERSONALLY seen my neighborhood of North Oakland (40th to Alcatraz ave, Telegraph Ave to San Pablo) go from about 70% black to 5% black from the late 1990’s till now. Aside from factual information provided in this article, what really happens/happened in these black neighborhoods and households is this-
Crack era America (1980’s till early 2000’s in Oakland) really severely damaged black America and the black family structure itself. This is obvious to some degree but really unfathomable unless you grew up in these homes and neighborhoods yourself. What it left was a division of three generations of African Americans-
The grandparents: those who moved to Oakland mostly from the South who had some sort of career or income and bought homes in North, East and West Oakland.
The addicted: African Americans born in the 1950’s thru early 1970’s who were hardest hit and affected by the crack epidemic, I.e- my parents and most of my existing family. A lot of Blacks who are now or were addicted were once on a road of employment and affluence, however, the devastation and addiction of the 1980’s would be too much for some to bare. A real life example of this would be in 1986 when one of my aunts was murdered in Oakland by a serial rapist, and the 1992 murder of my father which caused further devastation, despair and addiction in my family.
The children: African American kids born in the 1980’s and 90’s in crack era Oakland to addicted parents. Growing up in a neighborhood or household full of violence can severely hinder ones sense of self respect, self esteem, responsibility, etc. You are forced to grow up at an early age and some are not ready to shoulder the responsibility. I have seen people repeat the cycle and some walk a more righteous path, and I’m not sure who is to blame.
When a lot of the ‘grandparents’ in this trifecta began to die off or sale property bc they didn’t wanna die in Cokeland or deal with there crackhead kids having kids anymore (circa about 1995-05 heaviest period, still continuing today as Oakland becomes whiter by the month) it left the conundrum of foreclosure and a housing surplus being left to an irresponsible family of dwindling crackheads fighting with the lesser group of responsible ones, with displaced children in the mist of it all, being raised in a crackhouse. Once granny dies and the crackheads can’t pay the bills, here comes that good ole eviction/foreclosure. Now you’ve got a three bedroom Victorian rotting away, 10 min Bart ride from SF albeit.
Fast forward to Oakland 2015, and hell, it’s a brighter day after all. What were left with is rent inflation, Whole Foods, Lake Merritt is finally clean, Golden State Warriors have the best record in the western conference, etc. I’d say the robberies are probably closely related to the proficiency of cannabis clubs over the past ten years (2005 til now, I graduated high school 2007, selling weed on the streets of Oakland used to be a BIG deal and an easy come up) and also no more crack to sale (and of course a convicted felon can’t return to a legal lifestyle, right??) even in the darkest corners of West Oakland (def not the whole East) crackheads are walking more blocks than ever to get that lil fix. White girls jog past the renovated Acorn and Campbell Village projects, And an honest living black guy like myself can’t afford to live in the city I was raised in (even selling a lil bud on the side won’t cut).
Time to move to an affordable, crip free area of Northern LA were I can pursuit my songwriting passions and meet a white woman to settle down with so I can rewrite the wrongs of my crack-cocaine ruined childhood! Hope this was somewhat informative to some, I would love to do some more writing from the perspective of the oppressed legally abiding black, not the section 8 dwelling complainee.”