December 18th, 2013 by Darelle Brown When I walked into the conference room on the first floor of Oakland City Hall, I saw high school and middle school youth engaging in conversations with elected officials and college students about how to fix tough community problems. The kids looked assured and confident, presenting next to their cardboard projects.
Just past midnight on a recent Wednesday, the half-moon hovered over Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland where waste bins had been put out on the street for pickup the next morning. Two homeless men shuffled down the sidewalk as we peered into the green bins in front of the Arizmendi bakery.
When San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced eighteen months ago that the Golden State Warriors would be leaving Oakland and relocating to his city, the team's owners acted as if the move was a done deal.
Bassam Almgaleh and Pascal Zeino have picked up a lot of trash from the streets of Oakland. On a recent Tuesday afternoon, the two Public Works Department employees drove their garbage truck to more than a dozen sites in the city in response to residents' complaints about illegally dumped items: discarded furniture, bags filled with rotten food, the remains of an abandoned homeless encampment.