By Esther Goolsby, HOPE BEAT Co-chair
The souls of lifelong East Oaklanders are at stake. Do you know about the East Oakland Coliseum City Plan? This development project will bring new stadiums, hotels, retail and high-tech office space, and thousands of living space to East Oakland. Will corporate developers and its investors continue their history of pushing existing residents and workers out, especially around the Coliseum area? Or, will it be an asset to East Oakland and allow residents to flourish in while respecting Oakland’s culture and diversity? If done right, we can all benefit from this project.
The following pictures were taken by me in my backyard on 82nd Avenue. They show generations of families that live near and are closely impacted by all East Oakland development, especially the Coliseum City Plan – a NEW City within OUR City.
Take a look at these families that are less than 1.8 miles away from the Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum. BIG life-changing development is going to happen, changing the future for these generations. It’s time for residents to stand up and have a say in changes happening in our city because some changes negatively affect us – displacement happens. Not only are we losing sports teams for us to root for and be proud of, a MEGA crematorium wants to move in to East Oakland, making the air we breathe even more toxic than it already is. These people, being less than 1.8 miles away from new development, would have their growth and lives affected.
The Coliseum City Plan could give youth and families an “upgrade” from the generations of disinvestment and fast approaching displacement and gentrification in surrounding neighborhoods. There is always a need for a plan for a healthier, safer, and cleaner East Oakland where youth can grow up in an environment that is healthy for them in all aspects of these connecting health issues. We all must strive for good health for all of Oakland and voice our support for sustainable development that gives us clean air to breathe, safe spaces to get out and exercise, educational programs and resources, and opportunities for great jobs. We as existing residents want to be here and want to be able to afford to live and “STAY” here.
Join me in bringing community input to the Coliseum City Plan and let the City of Oakland know that community input must be a part of all development projects in Oakland! We must be heard and stand up for cleaner air, accessible and affordable public transit, jobs, and affordable housing. To ensure Coliseum City meets the needs of our community health, contact The Oakland United Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Esther’s blog is also featured on Communities for a Better Environment.