Fruitvale

Street Level celebrates 10 years of feeding the hungry

Nov 20, 2012

Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood has a history of welcoming new immigrants. At the turn of the 20th century, the area was full of orchards and beer gardens that served as an attraction to San Francisco residents. Today, you can see colorful markets full of produce and piñatas or eat delicious tacos at one of the area’s many food trucks. Many day laborers will wait on street corners eagerly looking for any type of work. And that’s why a center called Street Level Health Project was created a decade ago.

The Unity Council has deep roots in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood. Founded in 1964, the center has expanded into a national model for community development, spearheading the creation of the Fruitvale Transit Village and growing to work with about 12,000 low- to moderate-income clients per year.

KALW’s Holly Kernan asked Gilda Gonzalez, CEO of the Unity Council, to talk about the organization’s history.

A Fruitvale food tradition threatened

Nov 20, 2012

Oakland is known for its food trucks, which serve everything from tacos and tamales to West African cuisine.  But few know that this latest culinary trend got its start in Fruitvale almost 30 years ago. Fruitvale still has the city’s largest concentration of mobile food vendors – a predominantly immigrant population. These micro-businesses provide owners low overhead and the opportunity to become successful entrepreneurs. But if running a small business isn’t hard enough in this economy, vendors now face the added challenge of armed robbery.

Julie Caine

Latino voters are credited with coming out in large numbers yesterday for President Barack Obama to help him secure a second term. Locally, Latino voters came to the polls with mostly one issue on their minds. 

Kyung Jin Lee

When the Oakland Police Department put out a call for new recruits earlier this year, more than 2,000 people applied – mostly from outside of Oakland. The applicants live in cities in the outer East Bay and in San Francisco, but they also hail from as far away as Illinois and Florida.

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