It's the early 90s. Young people are watching MTV, their parents Twin Peaks. Maurice Caldwell is 22 years old and lives in the Alemany projects in Bernal Heights, on the same streets where he grew up. He works in an industrial warehouse in Hayward and likes to hang out with his friends.
But, he admits today, he was also a troublemaker. “I wasn't a choir boy,” says Caldwell. “I sold drugs, from time to time.” And, from time to time, he’d come in contact with police.
West Oakland is a neighborhood in transition – more people are moving in, and developers have it in their sights as the next up-and-coming place to live. But the neighborhood’s air quality is some of the Bay Area’s worst. A recent report by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies found that new laws for trucks had dramatically reduced emissions – but there’s still a long way to go.
Margaret Gibson has lived on 10th street in West Oakland for all of her 52 years.
“It's a little tough some times, but it's home, and I love it.”