Oakland is a city of so many races and cultures. Different, diverse, and from so many kinds of backgrounds. But one thing that unites us is the caring and loving people we are. No matter how hard the struggle may be, we always take care of each other. We are all in the same boat—struggling to live. We take matters into our own hands to get through life.
The brave and strategically brilliant members of Moms 4 Housing have given the entire nation a wake-up call about the disastrous shortage of affordable housing and the power of civil disobedience to confront the injustices of gentrification and the eviction-for-profit system.
The poet T.S. Eliot once addressed a deeply disturbing question to city dwellers everywhere, a profound challenge to our consciences that cuts to the heart of everything that has gone wrong in our society.
This very odd question occurred to me after Terry Messman, the editor of Street Spirit, suggested I write something for the paper in conjunction with the publication of my book, Doodling on the Titanic: the Making of Art in a World on the Brink.
This country preaches love and commitment to Democracy. But government officials and staff send government workers to come and demolish our houses and curbside communities. Officials cry, “Democracy!” But decisions hit us like the bombs the United States uses to destroy homes and communities in other countries.
Many people with disabilities are dependent on government benefits in order to survive. However, the process of acquiring these benefits is nowhere near easy. It can be deeply intimidating, making it feel inaccessible for those who already struggle with disabilities.