Based on research and interviews, Gentrification is a big topic in Oakland but there are both positives and negatives to the change.
Positives of Gentrification
What good things has gentrification brought to you? The opinion of others consist of them being able to connect with new people. Gentrification also mixes races and thoughts of people, brings totally different people together. One of my interviewees, Ernesto Villalba an 18 year old who grew up in Oakland and attends Lighthouse Charter school, states, “ I’ve met people that have moved into Oakland and they’ve become good friends of mine” (Villalba). This interviewee says that due to Gentrification he has made good friends some that are close to him now. He says, “I’ve lost two good friends but life has managed to give me in return two more” (Villalba). This shows that gentrification can lead to people making connections, his friends come from a different country then him and have different cultures. They still manage to be friends, his friends have gave him a different view about gentrification. In his view gentrification has taken friends from him but has also given him new ones. He doesn’t think gentrification is okay. He has never been kicked out of his home but he is a gentrifier, when his family moved into Oakland. His feelings about gentrification are confirmed by an article named, “How Gentrification works” by Dave Ross. In this article it states that good things happen to cities like Oakland when gentrification occurs. Some good things that happen is more construction and lower crime rates. In the article it says, “ Gentrification is a sign of economic growth. As money begins to flow into a neighborhood, many aspects of everyday life are changed for the better. Buildings and parks are renovated and beautified. Jobs arrive with the increased construction activity”(Ross). Both these things help the Oakland community, the construction helps because it improves the city’s structural looks and there would be more jobs available for those in need of one. Construction is needed in Oakland to renovate our parks and make them a nice place to take our kids and give them good memories of this city. The lower crime rates are helpful for the safety of this city, the future kids of Oakland get to experience a non-violent city this would result in people thinking more positively. More construction and lower crime rates are needed to build a prosperous Oakland, this would give Oakland a new face out to those who think negatively about our city. With all of this there’s a big increase in economic growth, with more money flowing in, there could be more funding for the Oakland unified school district and other important factors of this city. Oakland would benefit from gentrification because of what it provides for it.
Negatives of Gentrification
What bad things has gentrification brought to you? Gentrification has harmed a lot of families in Oakland, it mainly affects the familie with the lowest economic status. One of my interviewees, Edwing Solano a 16 year old who was born in Jalisco, Mexico but was raised in Oakland and now attends Fremont high school as an 11th grader. He is not just an interviewee to me he is a really close friend of mine. Me and him have seen a lot of things in this city and the changes that have happened. He thinks gentrification is messed up that is not right for people of low economies to be targeted and kicked out their homes. He states, “ People that want to move into Oakland should see who they are kicking out instead of just moving in and causing harm to families”(Solano). This clearly supports the fact that gentrification affects the communities families. People being kicked out of their homes have practically nowhere to go if their economic status is low. Some people decide to fight back in order to not lose their only home but end up losing even more. Something else that my interviewee said that stood out was, “Me and my neighbours are like family, I’ve been living in this block since I was brought here at a small age and if my family was being gentrified. I’m sure they wouldn’t like their new neighbours because its liking kicking one of your family members out of the family and bringing in a stranger it just doesn’t go”(Solano). This shows that gentrification can not only hurt the victims but the people close to them. Wealthier families start moving into Oakland, making this city look rich and powerful. But there’s nothing good into that if the people that want to live like that are being kicked out into another old version of Oakland. This doesn’t make Oakland better it’s just getting rid of its real residents and bringing in new ones that will start living in a city build by the poor. This is supported by an article titled, “How many are being displaced by gentrification in Oakland” by Olivia Allen-Price. In this article it shows that gentrification means nothing but harm it shows the struggles people have to live through after being gentrified. This article states, “Rents are up. Housing prices are up. We’re all paying more and it seems no one is immune. The place where prices are rising the fastest isn’t San Francisco anymore — it’s Oakland”(Allen). This shows that prices that use hit San Francisco are now hitting Oakland and faster. Pricing will keep rising until this becomes another S.F, there would be only rich people walking the streets. All of the people of Oakland that can’t keep up with the rising prices are going to be forced to move out. They are going to be forced to live in unconditional places that is practically unlivable, it’s absurd what people do to get money, to get the upper hand in this world.
In conclusion, Gentrification brings both positive and negative things to Oakland. It shows that it can grow but with the consequences of having new residents. It will be a safer and higher economic city but in order to reach this, the city would go through a lot of suffering and losses. People have different opinions about gentrification, I hope I made you see the true view of it. Who knows I would’ve never typed this if my parents didn’t gentrify to Oakland.
Allen-Price, Olivia. “How Many Are Being Displaced by Gentrification in Oakland?” KQED News, 10 Feb. 2017, ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/02/09/how-many-are-being-displaced-by-gentrification-in-Oakland/.
This explains how people are being displaced by people that have a better economic status. The people that are moved out are force to live in unconditional places where everything is bad and not a livable place. People come into Oakland trying to start a new life but they are ruining someone’s life by coming in.
Roos, Dave. “How Gentrification Works.” HowStuffWorks, HowStuffWorks, 17 May 2011, money.howstuffworks.com/gentrification2.htm.
This shows how gentrification is a good factor, it shows how more economic growth happens. There is also more construction in the neighborhood, you see more growth in between people. It says there is even a drop in violence, the crime rate dropped.
Solano , Edwing. “Gentrification in Oakland .” January 6, 2018.
He knows what gentrification is he thinks is bad for the community. He’s seen gentrification happen and he thinks it’s wrong and messed up. He said if he was in their shoes we wouldn’t let go of his home that easily he would try to fight but he said it would depend on the reasons. He thinks it’s wrong for people to be kicked out their homes if they know they have nowhere else to go. He would want to change but he thinks that it wouldn’t help, he said there’s laws i can’t go against with. He said even though gentrification is bad it helps meet new people he said “you and me meet because of it so you tell me”.
Villalba , Ernesto . “Gentrification in Oakland .” January 3, 2018.
He has seen less people of color and more people with good economies. He says gentrification has good benefits and bad ones too. He said he’s lost friends to gentrification and has also made some pretty good friends because of it. He lost friendship to two really close people due to gentrification. He also explained that that gentrification might of changed their lives into better ones or into worst ones. he doesn’t know if he could change gentrification. He said it’s good because I meet new people and because i lose people but it helps me connect with people i never thought i would meet and have strong bonds with.
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