Connect with us

Community

Oakland Must Stop Giving Uber a Free Ride, Say Community Groups

Published

on

A number of local leaders and nonprofit organizations in Oakland are kicking off a public discussion about how to “pull Uber over to the side of the road” – to demand that the global corporation provide benefits to offset the negative impacts that it and other large tech companies are having on the economy and quality of life in Oakland and surrounding cities.

 

 

The initial meeting, sponsored by the Greenling Institute and the Oakland Post Newspaper, was held last Friday in the offices of PolicyLink in downtown Oakland.

 

According to speakers at the community meeting, Uber has an estimated value of $65 billion and is holding $13 billion in cash.

 

Uber has a reputation as a company that does not believe in philanthropy and is one of the few technology giants that has refused to release employee diversity data, said Greenling Institute President Orson Aguilar.

 

“We know that cities with a large tech sector also lead on all indicators related to wealth inequality, especially racial wealth inequality,” Aguilar said.

 

“We want to change this narrative in Oakland, and it starts with requiring that Uber commit to a sizable community benefits agreement to Oakland’s diverse residents,” he said.

 

Post Publisher Paul Cobb said the community has a right to demand that Uber put up $100 million to provide affordable housing, jobs and nonprofit office space that the company is disrupting.

 

“They have invaded the housing market and driven up the prices,” said Cobb. “They need to cure that.”

 

PolicyLink Senior Fellow Joe Brooks said that the work that the community does to pressure Uber can serve as a model for how to deal with global tech giants that move into communities.

 

“Whatever we do to demand corporate responsibility from Uber will serve as a template, as an analysis of the connections that corporate firms have and their impact on long term affordability.”

 

Junious Williams of Oakland Community Land Trust said the City of Oakland is responsible for not holding Uber accountable to date.

 

“Where is the obligation of the city to make sure the interests of the people of Oakland are considered?” he asked.

 

A number of the speakers talked about the conditions faced by Uber drivers, who often must work 12 hours a day, seven days a week just to make a little more than the cost of their car note. They do not receive health or pension benefits.

 

Speakers also said that in addition to drivers, Uber has many other workers and should support jobs and training for the long-term unemployed and formerly incarcerated.

 

Cobb said this type of organizing is necessary for communities to benefit from the global economy.

 

“(This organizing) will go around the world – we can introduce a new view on how profits should be dispersed,” he said. “We need millions of dollars for affordable housing, to finance nonprofits to do their work and to pay for jobs and training for the formerly incarcerated.”

 

“If they don’t want to mitigate the economic disruption and the gentrification pressures with a substantial community benefits package, they should not be able to operate in this city,” said Cobb.

 

Friday’s meeting was the the first of many with several dozen Oakland leaders to gather input from those impacted by Uber’s move to Oakland.

 

Many of those in the room were nonprofit leaders already feeling the pain of displacement and gentrification that burst when Uber made its announcement, said Aguilar.

 

Several ideas were generated as possible next steps, including the suggestion that community leaders obtain a meeting with Uber’s CEO.

 

Commentary

City Government: Please Do No (More) Harm

Oakland city government declares war on the unemployed. An overstatement? Not really.

Published

on

First in a Series on Jobs in Oakland

Oakland city government declares war on the unemployed. An overstatement? Not really.

City administration professes concern for its residents who need help with access to jobs and training, while at the same time failing to issue contracts to the community organizations that stand ready to provide needed services.

The city council approved these contracts in June. As of late September, they have not been issued by the city administration.

Q: What does this mean? A: Non-profit organizations, operating on shoestring budgets in the best of times, have been required to advance their own funds in July, August, and September to serve the unemployed, with no reimbursement by the city because as the administration says, “Your contract has not been signed yet.”

Another impact: the workers who provide front line job services may not receive their paychecks on time…. creating unnecessary instability in their own households.

And who is responsible for issuing these contracts? Yup…it’s the city…. painfully tone deaf to the needs of the community, particularly those on the economic margins. Most of those served with job help are Black and Latinx residents who consistently suffer double digit unemployment. Many are returning home after incarceration.

And for this level of harmful disregard, the city receives  28 percent of scarce job training funds. Astonishing, since the city provides no direct services to job seekers.

As Oakland struggles with its horrific crime wave, it seems that attention would be paid to root causes, joblessness being paramount among them. Instead, the city administration seems intent on hobbling the very groups who stand ready to help. This happens year after year…. with no apparent consequences to an impenetrable bureaucracy.

Oakland, we can do  better than this.

We must.

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

Continue Reading

Community

‘A Way Out of No Way:’ EP Honors Black Shipyard Workers

Youth from Marin City created a musical tribute to Black workers from the Marinship Shipyard called “The Marinovators – A Way Out of No Way.”

Published

on

Top left to right: Jaliyah Cook, Sarah Williams, Dominiq Austin, Camron McDonald, Raymone Reed, and Tayana Bland. Bottom left to right: Brenda Lara, Bella Lucky, Mykolas Vilatis, Jahi, Mason Le, and Briana Zuniga. Rohan Ayyar is not shown.

Youth from Marin City created a musical tribute to Black workers from the Marinship Shipyard called “The Marinovators – A Way Out of No Way.”

The Marinovators are a group of young people from Marin City and other parts of the Bay Area who came together to lift up the lost stories of Black workers at the Marinship shipyard in Sausalito during World War II, according to their press release.  They created a six-song extended play record (EP) titled “The Marinovators /A Way Out of No Way,” which also featured songs like “Wonder Women Workers” and “Equality” in a “Hamilton-ish” hip-hop style. 

The songs from the EP highlighted Ms. Annie Small, Ms. Rodessa Battle, Rev. Leon Samuels, and Joseph James. Joseph James was instrumental in changing the laws of the union at the Marinship shipyard by going to the Supreme Court with the help of Thurgood Marshall in 1944.

The project will also feature a Virtual Reality experience to be released in October 2021. Oakland-based artist Jahi co-wrote and arranged the EP.  Chris Jeffries engineered, recorded and mixed it at The Marinovation Center in Novato. It was produced by Configa for Configaration Records.

Collaborators include XR LostStories, Performing Stars of Marin, California State Library’s CREi Initiative, The Marin County Free Library, Marin Office of Education, Microphone Mechanics, John MacLeod, Felecia Gaston of  Marin Performing Stars, Anita Gail Jones, Leslie Pelle, and Tim Bartolf.

The sponsors include the Milagro Foundation, the TomKat Foundation, and the Marin County Office of Education.

The EP was released on Sept. 4, 2021 and is available now for streaming on Spotify and iTunes. To listen to the “A Way Out of No Way” video, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyQdXEpRQuA

 

The Marin County Post’s coverage of local news in Marin County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

Continue Reading

Art

Healing Through Art at West Oakland’s Alena Museum

The Alena Museum is a Black-led, 501(c) 3 non-profit that provides services in health and wellness through experience installations, Black sanctuary gardens, community space access, and an Art Residency (mentorship).

Published

on

The Alena Museum/Photo Courtesy of Alena Museum Facebook

Development has come at the cost of Black health, land ownership and belonging.

The Alena Museum in Oakland gives African American residents a way to heal through the medium of art “by providing critical, safe spaces for the African diaspora the Black community can express and cultivate their cultural identity in the face of gentrification. 

The Alena Museum is a Black-led, 501(c) 3 non-profit that provides services in health and wellness through experience installations, Black sanctuary gardens, community space access, and an Art Residency (mentorship).

Through the group’s public art activism, they teach cultural preservation and cultivation with an Afrofuturism ownership model to promote cultural equity with the goal to reclaim urban landscape and gain creative control in real estate development. Through restorative justice art, the Alena Museum educates the community on urban planning; how it works and how to become involved. 

The Alena Museum’s most recent project, “Magnolia Street” began in March of 2020. According to the website, “Magnolia Street is an experiential installation following Alena Museum’s land libration journey. From holding space for African Diaspora creatives, to confronting gentrification in practice, the story of Magnolia Street channels the spirit of Oakland’s Black Resistance movement into the present through Alena Museum’s eyes. Our story roots Black Power into any land we activate, including this one.”

The Alena Museum was evicted from their 8th Street site in West Oakland and is now located at 2725 Magnolia St, Oakland, CA 94607. 

If you would like to reach out to the Alena Museum you can email them at info@alenamuseum.org. To check out the latest, visit them on Instagram and Facebook. If you would like to support their vision, visit the support page.

Information in this article was sourced from the Alena Museum website. 

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending