Wednesday, December 22, 2010

North Oakland Gang Injunction=Racial Profiling?

Some suggest gang injunctions are simply a method to institutionalize and reinforce racial profiling by the Oakland Police. Some suggest the proliferation of gangs contribute to blight and disinvestment in Oakland. Some suggest the Oakland Police are too willing to kill young black men. Some suggest Oakland residents are too willing to ignore that most murders in Oakland are committed by people of color against people of color.

What is the reality? What are the perceptions? What are the solutions? What do you think?

Fact: Far too many people are being assaulted, robbed, and murdered in Oakland. Open the paper or turn on your computer and you can read that almost every other day someone in Oakland has been shot, robbed, or murdered.

Who commits these crimes and why do they commit these crimes? Oakland has one of the highest violent crime rates in the entire country. Until Oakland addresses crime in a comprehensive fashion, young men like Anthony Thompson will continue to be murdered on Oakland's streets. Until crime is addressed in a comprehensive fashion there will be blight and disinvestment in Oakland.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Street Trees on 65th Street

Jane Brunner and Tree Planting Crew
A North Oakland neighbor reported that several new street trees were planted on 65th Street, which has been the center of controversy over the illegal removal of City-owned street trees by the Public Works Department. Interns with the Sierra Club provided the manpower in digging the holes and planting ornamental pears and Chinese pistache.  Both ornamental pears and Chinese pistache provide vibrant colors in fall and winter and are great choices for greening up the street in terms of size and canopy cover.

New Tree and Tree Stump
Apparently, the trees were provided by the City of Oakland through City Councilmember, Jane Brunner's office. Ironically, at 794 65th Street you can still see the stump of the illegally removed tree next to the newly planted tree. A complaint has been filed with City Administrator, Dan Lindheim, regarding the illegal removal of trees under the direction of Brooke Levin, Deputy Public Works Director. However, to date Lindheim has failed to acknowledge the complaint.  

Sierra Club Hard at Work
It is very curious that the Tree Services Program did not remove the stump of the tree they illegally cut down and plant a replacement tree.

Perhaps we should ask Ms. Levin, the Deputy Public Works Director who manages the Tree Program, why the City staff could not accomplish what Councilmember  Brunner and the Sierra Club have?

In any event, kudos and thanks go out to the Sierra Club and Councilmember Jane Brunner for a job well done in greening up 65th Street.