Oakland

Living in a multi-cultural city yields all sorts of surprises. On a corner in Oakland just east of Lake Merritt, a small Buddha has helped bring neighbors together.

Todd Whitney

For over a decade, Oakland has attempted to abate the illegal dumping of mattresses, electronics, furniture, and other large items onto city streets. The phenomenon is a problem throughout the Bay Area, but noticeably worse in Oakland.

Flickr user Jill Karjian

 

Mayor Jean Quan is the incumbent in the race, and she's been making the case for Oakland to give her a second term. But in the past four years, her leadership of the city has received mixed reviews. She has been criticized for her crackdown of the Occupy encampment. She has also been taken to task for troubles in the controversial Oakland Police Department, which has had a federal monitor and rapid turn-over at the top. But Quan says the city is better off than it was four years ago. She says violent crime is down and the city is finally on the right track.

Ben Trefny

Peter Liu says he’s "the world's smartest leader" and that he has developed a plan in which every Oaklander will have a chance to make a lot of money.

Julie Caine

 

It’s time to hear from another candidate in the Oakland Mayoral Race, Patrick McCullough, who first gained public notoriety back in 2005 after he shot and wounded a teenager in the driveway of his North Oakland home. McCullough says the shooting was an act of self-defense necessary in a neighborhood plagued by crime and intimidation. KALW’s Julie Caine visited McCullough at home to talk about his vision for public safety in Oakland.

http://bryanparker.org/

 

Bryan Parker is a healthcare and tech executive with degrees from University of California Berkeley and NYU. Though he has never held elected office, he is a former chair of Oakland’s Workforce Investment Board and he is currently serving as a Commissioner for the Port of Oakland. He was appointed to that position by current Mayor Jean Quan. He made news earlier this year with a very successful crowdfunding campaign, and is a supporter of the alternative internet currency Bitcoin.

joetuman.com

On November 4th, Oakland voters will pick their next mayor. All month on “Crosscurrents,” we are going to bring you the voices of each of the 15 people who are campaigning for the job.

Joe Tuman is a self-described outsider to Oakland city government. He’s been a member of politically-focused Oakland organizations – including one that kept tabs on local public safety funding from Measure Y – but he’s never held political office. Instead, he’s spent nearly three decades teaching government and law at San Francisco State. And he’s competed in thirteen Ironman triathalons.

Today on Crosscurrents, we hear from the retired Charles Ray Williams, an ex Navy man who completed four tours in Vietnam. Williams has spent a lot of time on the road and overseas, and it's his worldliness and street education that he sees as setting him apart from other candidates. He has never held public office.

The issues Williams feels strongest about are city safety, the Oakland budget, services for the homeless, making school uniforms mandatory, and creating more afterschool programs for kids. 

Allen Temple Arms, East Oakland

 

Mary Butler is a person who "likes to keep very busy and independent."

She worked as a respiratory nurse for most of her adult life. After retiring in the early 2000s, she supported herself the way retirees are meant to: with a small pension and social security. She moved to Las Vegas for a while to take care of an ill sibling. When she moved back to Oakland, she couldn’t find a place to rent. Her retirement funds didn’t stack up.

Sukey Lewis

We all throw stuff away—about four and a half pounds of garbage a day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

We’ve gotten used to hearing the three commandments of waste management: recycle, reduce, and reuse. But recently, the term “up-cycle” has come into vogue. That’s the idea that you can take waste materials and turn them into something valuable and even beautiful.

Mosaic artist Daud Abdullah up-cycles pieces of trashed pottery, tile, mirror, and glass to make public art on garbage cans in Oakland and Richmond.

Under CC license from Flickr user Patrick

A majority of Americans say their biggest financial concern is that they won’t be able to save enough money to retire. This finding, by a recent Gallup poll, is likely one reason that the average age of retirement in America has increased from 60 to 62 years old since the 2008 recession. For many people, though, retiring in their 60s simply isn’t possible.

Audrey Dilling

At the end of a narrow alley off of International Boulevard, through the open doorway of El ColectíVelo bike shop, I’m greeted by a young boy.

“R.B.! It’s the lady here for you!” he shouts.

“R.B.” are initials I’ll hear shouted out a lot of today. They stand for Reggie Burnett. He’s the leader here.

Julie Caine

 


    

KALW's Hear Here community storytelling team met one Oakland resident who lost her job, but found a new way to feed herself.

Audiograph's Sound of the Week: Hoodslam

Aug 22, 2014
Zach Mack

All week long, we've been playing this sound, and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

Lisa Carmack

Tuesday night was the 31st year of National Night Out, an event that aims to help prevent crime by encouraging people get to know their neighbors and strengthen their communities. We sent reporters out to National Night Out gatherings all over the Bay Area to see what was going on.

Flickr user enerva

Current Pope Francis has famously said about homosexuality, “who am I to Judge?” But despite his progressive words, the Roman Catholic church does not exactly embrace the cause of same sex marriage.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/child-sex-trafficking-a-story-about-love

 

Oakland activist and filmmaker Sheri Shuster has been advocating against the sex trafficking of youth for more than a decade. Her new film, 'Child Sex Trafficking: A Story About Love,' exposes and explores the world of girl trafficking in Oakland through the story and activism of trafficking survivor Leah Albright-Byrd. 

Michael Zelner

All week long we've been playing this sound, and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

V Smoothe, Flickr

It’s 7:30 in the morning at Skyline High and the halls are humming with activity. Kids are talking and slamming lockers. It’s loud.  But one building’s playing a different tune.

Richard Spitler / Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

 

Sonia Black is walking through the halls of Skyline High School, trying to get the last few kids to class.

Black is in charge of discipline and attendance for ninth and twelfth graders at Skyline. She’s been at the school for two years and this year, they’re trying something new: restorative justice.

Between classes, the five-minute passing periods at Skyline High are a little chaotic. Students are abuzz. Teachers, counselors and guards herd the teens to their classes.

Flickr: iamthetherapist

For a lot of high school students, the best part of their day is spending time with friends. That's also the case for students with Asperger's syndrome, which is characterized by trouble with social interactions, especially in reading nonverbal cues.

Paying to ride the school bus

Jun 2, 2014
H. Micheal Miley

 

Skyline is one of 15 public high schools in Oakland and the only one located in the hills. The 42-acre campus is nestled among redwoods and million dollar homes.  Nearly 2,000 students attend this traditional campus and many value the diverse student body.  But that wasn’t always the case.

Skyline High opened in 1961, and was almost immediately surrounded by conflict. It’s proposed attendance zone was one mile wide, ten miles long, and based entirely in the hills, which excluded students from the flatlands. This kept the school racially, as well as economically, homogenous -- despite the fact that the city’s black population nearly doubled during the previous decade.

Bridging the language gap for immigrant parents

Jun 2, 2014

Oakland’s Skyline High School has one of the most diverse campuses in California, with students coming from a wide range of backgrounds. That means some parents are not fluent in English, making it difficult for them to communicate with teachers and administrators. That is where the school's Family Resource Center comes in, helping to bridge the language gap with translation services.

A Day in the Life of a Skyline High Student

Jun 2, 2014

 

For many high school seniors the future is filled with excitement and uncertainty-- college applications, the prospect of saying goodbye to friends and family, and that occasional touch of senioritis. At Skyline High School in Oakland one student is trying to squeeze everything she possibly can into her final year. Here is a day in the energetic and jam packed life of Skyline student Hydea’ Burgess.

 

In 2012 Skyline's Black Student Union filed a complaint charging the school with discriminating against students of color. They accused Skyline of short-shifting black students, providing lackluster support which led directly to students not graduating. A lawsuit resulted in an agreement with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, and Skyline and the Oakland Unified School District agreed to make some serious changes. Included in those reforms was a voluntary resolution plan to oversee the disciplinary methods toward African American male students.

When you’re trying to figure out a piece of information online, your search will typically bring you to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia about practically everything.

But, what if you wanted to know something about Oakland – like why 880 is also called the Nimitz freeway – there’s another place you might land: Oakland Wiki.

Pete Villaseñor moved to San Francisco from his home state of Texas almost 20 years ago. That’s well before the Bay’s current housing troubles began. But, moving to a new place can come with other difficulties, like homesickness. Villaseñor told our community storytelling project Hear Here how he found solace in a new city.

Adelyn Baxter

Just north of Jack London Square, inside Oakland’s oldest building, you’ll find one of the East Bay’s most celebrated soul food eateries. Even more surprising? It’s 100 percent vegan.

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