A few weeks ago, all four of the Micah fellows went to a community meeting that focused on initiating change in West Oakland (specifically the Lower Bottoms neighborhood). I talked to a number of people who were committed to the well-being of their neighborhood and all of the people in it. While some of the people at the meeting had lived in West Oakland for over a decade, many had also grown up elsewhere. Each of the people that I talked to mentioned the many jewels that attracted them to this area or what is keeping them here. And I can see what they were drawn to:
- Proximity to Downtown Oakland, San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area via BART
- Neighbors who care about each other
- People who look after one another’s well being
- A community that comes together when in need
- An empowering history
I came across a local chef’s blog about why she opened her restaurant in West Oakland. If you want to hear why ANOTHER person chose to come to the Bay Area and start to develop roots here, check out the blog entry.