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.”
Today 38% of people in Oakland hold secondary degrees, crime is down to the same level as San Francisco, aside of Long Beach California it is the most racially mixed town in the world. When researching the most crime ridden towns in the US no California town made it into the top 30 most dangerous towns in the US. Niche voted Oakland as the 26th best US city to live in.
How did Oakland do it? This is the story that Oakland born and raised artists “Jonah Melvon featuring Adesha” wish to tell. Their song 1099 available on Spotify tells the story of how cities need to pull together to become whole again. Jonah Melvon works closely with business leaders and educational and community outreach organizations to bring about a spirit of “togetherness, love, peace and understanding.” Adesha works with the Boys and Girls Club as a Community Relations Manager. They have lived the story and they want to help cities around the world to help create living conditions that are pleasing for all ethnic groups. It can be done! Oakland is proof that it can be done.
Jonah Melvon believes, as his lyrics explain, that we all need to support local businesses, make education available and accessable to everyone who wishes to improve their lifestyle and take part of a thriving economy. In Oakland, Peralta Colleges came together to provide educational access to everyone at affordable rates. Businesses cleaned up neighborhoods and provide access to comfortable yet affordable housing. Charities pitched in with Kindergardens and Schools. When all people, regardless of ethnic background join forces to create a nice place to live, with compassionate support for those least among us, and businesses create access to well paying jobs through education, mentorships, classes cities can be reclaimed. Today WeWorks, General Assembly, Kickstart Coding, App Academy, Springboard, help young and mature people find ways to succeed.
Most importantly the soul based neighborhood spirit that teaches belief in each of our ability to participate in a thriving economy creates a new mindset. Love is the answer. Diversity is beautiful. By opening people’s minds through the Peralta Study Abroad Programs and by offering genuine assistance the East Bay and especially Oakland are becoming a thriving metropolis again. http://web.peralta.edu/foundation/scholarships-and-grants/
We can do anything, when we work together. When political leaders, business leaders, eduational leaders, and religious leaders come together with the single purpose to lift up everyone of its citizens success is within reach.
Since 2010 Oakland is a new shining star showing its can do spirit. Now, Jonah Melvon and Adesha want to share how it happened. They want to bring the knowledge that celebration of life, work, and family can bring amazing results and lead to a thriving, safe town. They are supported by Drew Gephart, International Services Manager at the Peralta College Group of fine educational institutions. This group of Junior Colleges serve as feeder schools to UC Hayward, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. All we have to do is believe and then act on our beliefs.