Source: Race, Poverty & the Environment By: Sam Tepperman-Gelfant and David Zisser Date: December 17,…
The City of Oakland is currently considering five proposals for development on a prime piece of publicly-owned land on the shores of Lake Merritt, just blocks from downtown and key transit hubs. Most, if not all, of the proposals include affordable housing, and one is a visionary community-developed plan for 133 affordable units* and plenty of green space.
If this sounds good to you, be sure to thank the neighbors.
In January, this outcome was unimaginable to all but a dedicated group of neighbors who make up Eastlake United for Justice (EUJ). At the time, the City was barreling forward with plans to sell the East 12th Street parcel at a discount for the development of a monstrous tower of luxury apartments for households making $120,000 and up—more than three times the median income for the neighborhood. While the outcome seemed inevitable to some, EUJ had a different vision for the site and one overarching demand: use public land for the public good. Through fearless and relentless organizing using a range of strategies, including legal enforcement in partnership with Public Advocates and others, EUJ stopped the moving train of luxury development and steered the process towards a more equitable outcome.