Oakland: A Tale of Two Cities

Randy Shawbyline‚ Dec. 04‚ 2012

Oakland, California has become a tale of two cities. It has a burgeoning restaurant and club scene, with its historic warehouse district, Jack London Square, Uptown and Temescal joining long thriving commercial districts in Rockridge, Chinatown and Lake Merritt. It has the activism, energy, and spending power of young people priced out of San Francisco, as evidenced by the early success of Occupy Oakland and the thousands flocking to the first Friday night Art Murmurs. Yet Oakland has also had 115 homicides in 2012. Its major crimes have risen 23% in the past year, and its police department is so dysfunctional that this crime wave has been accompanied by a 44% decline in arrests. Oakland is plagued by poor mayoral leadership, and lacks enough revenue to maintain quality services. Can Oakland turn this situation around in 2013?