Oakland was named the most ethnically and economically diverse city
Even before the city “hit bottom” Jerry Brown and business leaders stepped up to create a plan to fix the city. After a six year out of public service Brown returned to public life, serving as Mayor of Oakland (1999–2007). It took a lot of work to attract new investments. The police corruption that plagued cities all across California had to be dealt with.
A group of four corrupt police officers called “The Rough Riders” finally were dealt with after outrage grew too much that the city kept settling law suits to sweep the offences under the table. The clashes between the racially white police and the largely ethnic population caused much dissatisfaction and distortions about the way Oakland was perceived. Politico reported in their March/April issue of 2015: “Oakland’s cops, a legal advocate for victims of police abuse said at the time, might just be “the worst department in the country. Officer-involved shootings were frequent, and often fatal.” In continued: “Complaints of beatings, shakedowns and unwarranted arrests were rampant and cost the city dearly. All told, from 2001 to 2011, Oakland paid some $57 million for claims, lawsuits and settlements involving alleged misconduct by the Oakland Police Department—not just the largest sum paid by any municipality in California, but more than double what San Francisco, with roughly twice the population, paid in the same time frame. The police force seemed broken, brutal beyond repair.”
Accusations of corruption in Oakland were rampant in 2005 the FBI investigated Perata. The East Bay Times reported: Records show Perata’s son’s and daughter’s businesses have been paid at least $750,000 since 1999 by political committees under his direct control, even as Nick Perata and his businesses have been involved in real estate rentals and sales with his father. Also, Perata’s consulting business brought in more than $100,000 in 2003, and between $10,000 and $100,000 in each of the four years before that; his bigger clients during those years included his son’s business as well as two belonging to Staples. The case was stopped by Schwarzenegger’s call for a special election.
The citizens were ready for the change. It started to gentrify without pushing out locals. The East Bay Times reports that the Fruitvale district is a great example that this is possible: “Schildt said it’s possible to invest in a community without causing displacement — particularly if it’s public investment or community-driven. Oakland’s Fruitvale Village is held up as a national model. As Scott Morris reports, the mixed-use development near Fruitvale BART improved the socio-economic well-being of residents in the immediate neighborhood and preserved the area’s racial and ethnic diversity.”
Education in Trouble
Even in 2009 SF Gate reported that Schwarzenegger decided to California ranks 47th in per-pupil spending, according to “Quality Counts,” a report issued Tuesday from Education Week, a national newspaper specializing in public schools. It showed that while the national average is $9,963 per pupil, California spends $7,571, according to the report. Vermont spends the most, with $15,139. Utah spends the least, with just $5,964 per pupil.
Around the state, school administrators have begun looking at how many employees they can lay off next year and which programs they can cancel.