Monday, March 23, 2009

Police Shoot-Out: Is it time to leave Oakland?

The news of the murder and death of several policeman yesterday and the suspect they were pursuing has rocked not just our city - but the whole country. [A Better Oakland Blog | Tribune | SF Gate | CNN | KRON 4]

Share condolences with families and others online [Tribune | Dimond District Weblink ]

At church today it was the big item for discussion and subject of prayer that people shared: prayers for the families, prayers for all our police officers, prayers for peace, prayers for our city. I asked out loud if it maybe wasn't time to leave. Why stay here? One 5th generation Oaklander responded "It's so great. Where else would you go?" That's true and things are messed up in our city. Perfect temperate climate in a city who's climate is anything but temperate. What does it take to change a city? Why doesn't our change?

In the end it's not just as simple as cheering "it takes a village" and rallying the troops. How do we change the inequity around us: lack of economic opportunity for so many, too many paroles with too little supervision in our city, schools that are overcrowded and underfunded - and diverse in language, culture and huge income-gap discrepancies, a visible divide between the hills and the flats. Building a better Oakland isn't just a question of more cops, or beefed up security. It's complex, deep and across all the areas of need. The biggest need is for people to commit to Oakland: not just for a cheaper house, a nice neighborhood but for the long-term and the long-haul. We often say that "when the going gets tough the tough get going" unfortunately for Oakland - it's usually a question of going somewhere else: Brentwood, Orinda, Berkeley....

No comments: