There's one issue that both the Democratic and Republican parties are dealing with in this upcoming election: the economy. In San Francisco, the unemployment rate surpassed 7.5% in July – just short of the national average. But across the bay in Oakland, unemployment has reached a startling 14.5%. KALW's Hear Here community storytelling team recently met one Oakland resident who lost her job, but found a new way to feed herself.
KALW's new community storytelling team Hear Here has been popping up all over San Francisco and Oakland to capture real life stories of people living in different neighborhoods. They've met residents of all ages and backgrounds, and together, their stories create a human portrait of these two Bay Area cities.
In June, the Hear Here producers met Oakland native Barbara Lindsey at the Temescal Library. At the time of the recording, Lindsey was living out of her car, and she shared her thoughts on what it's like to survive on the streets of the town she grew up in.
San Francisco is home to a long line of comedians. “The earliest job I ever wanted was a standup comedian,” remembers San Francisco resident Thomas Reeve. “I did standup in elementary school or junior high, but I was always building stuff in the background. Like, I'd build model rockets and RC cars.”
Reeve has long since abandoned his standup comedy dreams, but all that building he was doing in the background as a kid – well, it's paid off. Reeve is now a mechanical engineer, and he's also the subject of this Hear Here story.
Driving a bus can be a stressful, thankless job – just ask AC Transit driver Robert Hawkins, who told us in this recent Crosscurrents story: “It's like a switch turns on in your head because you know that you're getting ready to deal with a bunch of mess. Or the potential for a bunch of mess out here.”
Anayansi Diaz-Cortes, producer of KCRW’s Sonic Trace, has an ambitious vision: to trace the stories of immigrants to Los Angeles from Mexico and Central America, illustrating how entire communities have reconstituted themselves in LA. Not only that, but she wants to do it in style.