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New West Oakland Business Center to Create Opportunities for Formerly Incarcerated



A vacant lot left blighted for over three decades on 7th and Campbell streets in West Oakland now has a new purpose in the community as the launching pad for cooperative businesses that will provide opportunities for the formerly incarcerated to become business owners.


Led by co-founders social activist Elaine Brown and Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, Oakland & the World Enterprises (OAW) is partnering with the City of Oakland to create six co-op businesses on the abandoned lot.


The project is designed to reverse the decades of neglect and lack of resources – to restore hope in a community that has been struggling with crime and poverty.


“We decided that we would build a wonderful field of dreams,” said Brown at the launch event Monday.


Those who attended the event included Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Mayor Jean Quan, Len Turner of Turner Group Construction, staff of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, CEO of Oakland PIC Gay Plair Cobb and School Boardmember Jumoke Hinton Hodge.


The businesses at this new center will be owned and operated by those who are often denied access to economic opportunity and will provide individuals returning home from prison a chance to rebuild their lives and families by supporting their economic stability.


“West Oakland has become a vast empty place where people are being moved out by gentrification and mass incarceration, and so forth. With the help of Supervisor Keith Carson, we can say this is our place and we need to find ways to make something happen,” Brown said.


OAW will launch an urban farm that will produce organic fruits and vegetables for the West Oakland community and for sale to local restaurants and farmers’ markets. Implementing healthy economics, the farm will “redirect the school-to-prison pipeline to a school-to-agriculture manufacturing pipeline,” said David Roach, CEO of Mo’ Better Foods.


“Healthy economics promote (the idea) that every school should have a garden, a farmers market and a grocery store…that every child should gain the education to not only learn the sciences to grow healthy food but to also learn the careers connected to the agriculture industry,” Roach continued.


Other businesses will include: a fitness center, tech hub, an athletic shoe and clothing manufacturing businesses with retail outlets, and a juice and fresh food bar.


The development will also include over 100 housing units for mixed-income families, and 40 percent will be affordable to low- and very low-income families.

OAW will promote economic development and encourage self-sufficiency for individuals who otherwise have a hard time finding employment. Jerry Elster, a member of All of Us or None, emphasized the importance of community in this new project.


Jerry Elster. Photo by Ashley Chambers.

Jerry Elster. Photo by Ashley Chambers.

“I’m standing here for the formerly incarcerated and underrepresented populations of people throughout this nation,” said Elster, who served time in prison. “I’m standing here for countless others including those in Campbell Village. This is our community. We’re bringing opportunities of entrepreneurship for them and the rest of Oakland.”


Elster acknowledged those who helped him reenter the workforce after he was released from prison, including Rev. Raymond Lankford and the Oakland PIC.


“I’m excited about today because today is only the beginning,” said Supervisor Carson, who recalled meeting Elster 14 years ago when Carson visited San Quentin State Prison.


“It was the education we got from individuals in prison saying, if you don’t want us to commit the crime, we have to be a part of changing the dynamic,” Carson said. “Let’s support these brothers and sisters who are returning back home become self-sufficient, to welcome them back to our community.”

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How to Use Credit Wisely

(NewsUSA) – As the holiday season approaches, more people are out shopping, searching crowded stores and online promotions for the best discounts, and using their credit cards to pay for it all. But beware the financial dangers of credit use — how you pay for these deals could safeguard your budget or lead to debt. […]
The post How to Use Credit Wisely first appeared on BlackPressUSA.




A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can help you guard against costly credit mistakes, paving the way for a financially sound festive season and beyond. Learn more about how to use credit in a way that works for you with the insights below.

Choose Your Credit Card Wisely

Whether you’re shopping for holiday gifts or purchasing necessities like groceries, the credit card you use can make a big difference. There are several factors to consider:

  • Interest Rates. Rates generally run from 21-33%. The standard bank card charges at the low end of the range, and retailer credit cards (those typically with the store’s name on them) charge as much as 33%.
  • Cash Back. Among the best deals are bank cards that offer cash back ranging from 1-4% of your purchase.
  • Rewards Points. Some cards have rewards programs where you earn points that you can redeem for products or services. They may seem attractive but are worthwhile only if you’re actually interested in the rewards offered.
  • Cash Discounts. While retailer credit cards have the highest rates, some offer big cash discounts at the point of purchase. That may be the only time they’re worth using.

Improving Your Credit Score

Boosting your credit score can help you qualify for the lowest available interest rates on auto loans, personal loans and mortgages. If you can, pay the full balance when your credit card bill arrives. But most importantly, never miss a payment. Paying on time not only avoids late fees, but also is a key factor in improving your credit score. The easy way to ensure timely payment is to set up automatic online payments.

A CFP® professional can help you develop other strategies to save money while improving your credit profile, including the following:

Establishing Credit

Lenders offer credit to people with a long and reliable credit history. Most young adults don’t have one. There are various ways to obtain credit, but steer clear of debit cards that claim they can help you build a credit history. When you consider the costs and requirements, they’re usually no bargain. You have better and cheaper options for establishing credit. Here are three of them:

  • Get a secured credit card.
  • If you have a student loan, make sure you’re up-to-date with payments.
  • If you pay rent, ask your landlord to report your on-time payments to the credit bureaus.

The choices we make in managing credit can have a lasting impact on our financial journey. As you navigate the complex credit landscape, remember that CFP® professionals can offer tailored guidance for your unique circumstances. Whether it’s identifying strategic debt payments, exploring balance transfer options or establishing credit responsibly, a CFP® professional can provide a roadmap for achieving your financial goals. Find a CFP® professional today.

The post How to Use Credit Wisely first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Oakland Post: Week of November 22 – 28, 2023

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of November 22 – 28, 2023



The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of November 22 - 28, 2023

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Acura ZDX Type S features

LA Auto Show was the venus for the Acura ZDX Type S details.
The post Acura ZDX Type S features first appeared on BlackPressUSA.



LA Auto Show was the venus for the Acura ZDX Type S details.

The post Acura ZDX Type S features first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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