President’s Executive Order on Immigration: Voices from East Oakland

Immigration March

 Reactions to President Barack Obama’s Executive Order on immigration drew mixed responses from East Oakland residents. Known formally as the “Deferred Action for Parental Accountability and Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival” programs, these actions were long in coming but surprisingly unspectacular by all counts, with the exception of ideologically-opposed, law and order conservatives.  According […]

Black men counter media perception with ‘DetermiNation’


The grand jury decision in Ferguson to not indict police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, has left the hearts of the African-American community reeling—nationwide, and in Oakland, sending the message that black lives do not matter. While many in Oakland continue to protest the death of Michael Brown, an opportune and much-needed collaboration between United Roots […]

Fruitvale Legal Center expects large crowds after President’s Announcement


Fifteen minutes before the president announced his Executive Action on Immigration, top Oakland officials called Eleni Roubatis-Wolfe, Immigration Program Director of Centro Legal de la Raza. They wanted to know, like the many people who called Centro in the hours before the announcement, details of the administrative relief and the effect it would have on […]

The Invisible Hand in Our Hoods


While writing about the Ferguson shooting of an unarmed African -American teenager by a white police officer, I came across the concept of Structural Vulnerability. I met with Professor James Quesada from San Francisco State University, a medical anthropologist who has written and researched this topic extensively. I wanted him to help me understand how […]

Rebecca Kaplan’s campaign


As a 19- year- old who’s never voted or really been affiliated with politics,  Rebecca Kaplan’s campaign for mayor was an eye opener. I could see how so many people are very involved in politics but at the same not enough people from the community are involved. The campaign celebration accommodated the press, family members and […]

Quan’s Last Song

Mayor with youth

A sea of mostly empty circular tables adorned with white table cloth greeted me when I arrived at Scott’s Seafood Restaurant, Jean Quan’s campaign party location Tuesday night. Live music substituted for conversation before Quan’s spirited faithful trickled in to celebrate victory and slowly a medley of supporters’ voices began to compete with the musicians. […]

The Long Campaign


Early on in the summer, I met mayoral candidate Joe Tuman, endorsed by the Oakland Tribune, at Love Our Lake Day. He spoke with me about after-school programs and the Oakland Police Department, and even gave me his number in case I wanted to ask him more questions later. It was a surprisingly kind gesture, […]



  On election night I found myself at the headquarters of Libby Schaaf’s election party. I call it a party because it felt like one. The alcohol was copious (and free) and the people many. All ages and backgrounds. “A good picture of Oakland, minus the hipsters.’ as my Oakland Voices colleague,  Tiffany Lacsado,  described […]

The Madison Miracle

The Madison Miracle

The Madison Miracle started in 2006 when Lucinda Taylor, Ph.D requested to lead what was considered the worst school in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). She started with 236 students and 13 teachers. Through Dr. Taylor’s hard work and demand for high expectations,  she  grew that one school into the Madison Academy – now consisting of […]

Tweets of the Oakland Mayoral Race: week in review


    The Oakland mayoral race cannot be escaped these days. On the eve of the election, any politically-minded Oaklander’s feed is full of  “@” mentions, #mayoral hashtags, and links to polls and studies of varying relevance. Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel even got into the act spoofing one of the contenders recently (the horse loving, gun toting Peter […]

East Oakland, the Forgotten Enclave of Oakland


  Brown fields (land contaminated by past industrial use), crowded buses, six corner stores in a seven block radius—none of which had fresh fruits or vegetables. Asthma, low-wages and affordable housing were among the many issues that East Oakland residents highlighted for Oakland’s mayoral candidates. Roughly 70 – 80 people attended the East Oakland Mayoral […]

Oakland Mayoral Candidates Speak

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The candidates running to be the next Mayor of Oakland speak for themselves.  Following are video clips of the candidates speaking at the East Oakland Building Healthy Communities mayoral forum. See what they had to say for yourself. Nancy Sidebotham, Jean Quan, Saied Karamooz, Patrick McCullough, Courtney Ruby, Libby Schaaf, Dan Siegel, Joe Tuman   […]

Tweets of the Mayoral Race: Allen Temple Forum


The race to become Oakland’s next mayor is serious business with serious consequences for the people of East Oakland, who often face issues that only major city hall policy change can affect. As election day draws near, the candidates’ positions on everything from health to economic growth are scrutinized. On October 22nd at Allen Temple Arms, […]

The Mayor of 82nd Ave

Resident Survey

Organized under East Oakland Building Healthy Communities’ umbrella, the mayor and would-be mayors flocked to Allen Temple Arms located at 82nd Ave. and International Blvd, seeking blessings from Deep-in-the “E.” But first the office seekers had to listen to voices from a medley of residents singing from their life’s hymnal−a song wanting what every citizen […]