Oakland has a reputation in news media for violence, homelessness, and lawlessness. Prospective new homeowners or renters in the Bay Area might not list Oakland as their first choice to call home due to the relentless unpleasant coverage of the Town.
Oakland Voices correspondent Joy Quilatan asked long-time residents in North Oakland what made them choose to stay.
How long have you lived in Oakland and what keeps you here?
Note: Talk of the Town highlights Oakland residents talking about the Town (aka the city of Oakland).
“I came here with my family when I was 12 years old and have lived here for 55 years. I love the city. When I was in high school, I was an intern at Kaiser Permanente and worked for Kaiser until I retired.”
Fred Lewis, San Antonio
“I came to Oakland from New Orleans when I was 18 and I have lived in Oakland for 64 years. I stayed because I worked for the East Bay Transit for 24 years and I was a Merchant Seaman.”
Rudy Colar, Gaskill District
“I came from Kansas City and I lived in Oakland for 44 years. I stayed in Oakland because it has a lot of potential and great qualities to offer. Beautiful scenery, the weather is warmer, you meet a lot of intelligent and nice people around here. You can basically do anything you want, you can live like a bum, I live in my car, but you can turn your life around here if you just stay away from trouble.”
Ollie Boyd, Longfellow
WHAT ABOUT YOU? How long have you stayed in Oakland? And what keeps you here?