Talk of the Town: What is your dream for the future of Oakland?

The city of Oakland can be described as a focal point for change and revolution. From local protests to the formation of groups such as the Black Panther Party, The Town has been used as a stage to announce the dreams for a more equitable future. 

To continue this tradition I set out to ask Oakland residents to describe their dreams for the future of this city. In the midst of gentrification and inflation, honoring the dreams of Oaklanders is essential to preserving the essence and power of the people. Oakland Voices asked, “What is your dream for the future of Oakland?”

Nailah Mcgee

Nailah, East Oakland

Nailah is an Oakland native and lives near Eastmont Mall. She spoke on the challenges of finding jobs in Oakland that offer a living wage. “It’s easier to find higher paying jobs in other cities in the Bay Area such as Berkeley.” Her dream is for the city of Oakland to have better paying entry level jobs for the community. 


Felipe, East Oakland

Felipe was born and raised in Oakland. He has lived on 98th Ave for 18 years and spoke about the importance of coming together as a collective, “We are all human.” His dream for Oakland is to have everyone embrace diversity in order to enhance community and support for one another. 


Mike, downtown Oakland

Mike was born in Oakland and currently lives Downtown. His dream for Oakland is to scale back on the 9-5 work schedule and increase entrepreneurship and job trade opportunities. He also wants to see more mental health research and resources for the community.

Joshua Davis 

Joshua, West Oakland

Joshua currently lives in West Oakland. Their dream for the future of Oakland started with a reflection of the past,  “You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. One of the richest parts of Oakland’s legacy is activism that was first started by Black people.” Joshua continued to speak about the importance of implementing non-traditional practices and educational tools in order to truly embrace the diversity of Oakland. “It’s about being able to live together and embrace our differences as a diverse community. I want to see more of that actually happening because I feel that there is still so much division. I want everyone to be able to live and thrive here.”

Raheem is part of Oakland Voices’ 2021 class of Community Correspondents. Talk of the Town highlights the voices of Oakland residents.

What are your dreams for the future of Oakland? Share your hopes and dreams for the Future of the Town.

Author Profile

Kristal Raheem (also known as Raheem Divine) is an ethnographic researcher, educator, and consultant from Oakland. She has earned a B.A. in Sociology and a master’s in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership. Her work calls attention to health and educational disparities among Black, Queer, and other systematically oppressed communities around the world. Through literary and visual storytelling, she aims to help people remember and remain on their path of healing and liberation.

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