Reposted from my old blog on March 28th, 2007.
My neighborhood is struggling for something most folks take for granted: a place to buy food.
West Oakland has no grocery store. But not because grocery stores don’t want to be here. Mandela Foods that wants to start an organic, affordable, community cooperative grocery store. But like most cities undergoing gentrification, the folks who hold the purse strings want to lease spaces to the junk stores and chains that will eventually give way to fancier establishments and lofts.
Currently a space is up for lease – it’s a space called the Mandela Gateway and is funded by our tax dollars. The Oakland Housing Authority, which ultimately says whether the landlord can lease or not, wants to allow a chain 99 Cent junk store in its place. All we have in West Oakland is Liquor Stores and 99 cent junk stores…we only need one: the one legitimate, community owned and controlled Marcus Garvey Dollar store, which everyone wants to support.
My neighbors and community organizers have been getting together to challenge and pressure the Oakland Housing Authority to say NO, and allow the community food cooperative a chance to let West Oakland develop in a way that is self sustaining and autonomous – one that will give our community good sustainable jobs, local pride, healthy food, and invest its money back in the community.
The above and below photos were from an Oakland Housing Authority meeting we went to about a month ago. We went to another one tonight. Aint no no power like the power of a community cuz the power of a community don’t stop….