Sarah Belle Lin

Replacing Police In Mental Health Crises: These NYers Have A Plan

NEW YORK CITY — For many New Yorkers experiencing a mental health crisis, having the police called did not end well. The list is long and includes Deborah Danner , Saheed Vassell , Mohamed Bah , Eleanor Bumpurs . The group CCIT-NYC , or Correct Crisis Intervention Today - New York City, was formed to demand replacing police in mental health emergencies with EMTs and trained responders who themselves have a background of mental health issues, known as peers. All were fatally shot by responding

These NYers Have Given 28K Life-Supporting Backpacks To Homeless

NEW YORK CITY — It's hard to miss them. Backpacks of every color sit in a massive pile in a rented U-Haul van, stuffed with individually packed Ziplocs containing socks, hygiene and first aid kits, water, toothpaste, sunblock, pens and paper, beef jerky, nutrition bars and tuna. By now the vehicle, its driver Jeffrey Newman and the volunteers who distribute backpacks for Newman and his husband and business partner, Jayson Conner, are well known sights for those they serve: people who are experi

How to Be More Than a Bystander

In a busy shopping area in New York City, a tour guide had to make a split-second decision. A stranger had overheard two Asian men mentioning their nationalities to the guide, and he suddenly attacked them. The attacker punched and pummeled the pair until the tour guide intervened and scared him away. Three days later in San Francisco, a security guard and a construction worker stepped in when an elderly Asian woman was being robbed. They chased the mugger and cornered him until police arrived.

Rising crime, calls for solidarity: a deeper look at what’s happening in Chinatown

On Sunday morning, Jan. 31, Kenneth Lam and his wife were working at the popular florist shop they’ve owned for 10 years on Webster Street in Oakland Chinatown when three women ran into the store, attempting to take potted trees and other items without paying for them. The Lams physically struggled with the women, were injured in the process, and nearly hit by a car as it sped away. “We still continued working the day that it happened,” said Kenneth Lam, who is in his 50s. “My back is hurting l

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Oakland and Alameda County: Your questions, answered

To help people understand where they are in line for the vaccines and what to do when it’s their turn, The Oaklandside reached out to the county, hospitals, and clinics for answers. Our focus here is vaccine distribution, not vaccine safety, but NPR recently answered questions about what’s safe for pregnant women and children. The Associated Press shed light on rare allergic reactions, but reminds us that the FDA, the federal agency that approves safe medical supplies, has found no serious side

Is Oakland seeing more unhealthy air days each year?

Last week, to the surprise of many Oaklanders, local air quality maps glowed with ominous orange markers signifying unhealthy air quality, after a ten-week stretch in which levels were largely “moderate” or better. Residents took to social media to bemoan this fact and search for explanations. One tweeted that a “city outdoor afterschool program got canceled for the first time since the fires were so bad in September and October.” Another wondered if the smoke was coming from wildfires in Southe

Rolling blackouts: What Oaklanders need to know, and what to expect

Over the past week, frightening weather patterns have disrupted our communities and strained public resources and utilities. The recent heatwave, expected to last the entire week, has seriously impacted the state’s electricity supply, leading many Oaklanders to wonder if rolling blackouts are around the corner. Oakland didn’t experience power outages related to the heatwave or fires this week or last week—an outage affecting about 16 households in Glenview on Sunday was due to previously schedu

What was behind this weekend’s weather, and what can you expect next?

During the early morning hours of Sunday, August 16, a radical weather event covered the Bay Area. Record-breaking temperatures mixed with tropical conditions to produce a dry lightning event that led many to marvel and wonder at what caused the dramatic storm—and what to expect in the coming days and weeks. The Oaklandside reached out to local meteorologists and agencies to find answers. What was behind this weekend’s “un-California-like” weather? Bay Area meteorologist Steve Anderson points

Did Oakland police use unlawful force against protesters on June 1?

What was likely a pair of water bottles thrown by protesters on the evening of Monday, June 1 in downtown Oakland prompted an overwhelming show of force by law enforcement officers, who fired numerous rounds of tear gas and other less-lethal weapons into a crowd of several hundred people, including some local students, about 20 minutes before the start of an 8 p.m. curfew. These are the findings of an Oaklandside review of over 50 videos and hundreds of photos taken that evening, as well as soc

Youth activists leading the Black Lives Matter Movement

A month has passed since the first day of protests erupted in Oakland following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. For the past weeks, youth have driven the Black Lives Matter movement forward. The largest protest in Oakland yet, where 15,000 individuals marched through downtown Oakland from Oakland Tech High School, was organized by a group of spirited and focused young activists. A youth-organized march of a couple thousand from the East Oakland flatlands to the hills demanded pu

Black activists with deep Oakland organizing roots reflect on a week of protest —

Carroll Fife, TurHa Ak, John Jones III and Refa One on how this moment compares to movements of the past, and what comes next. For seven straight days, Oaklanders have taken to the streets to demonstrate against police brutality toward Black Americans. In some ways, these events feel wholly unprecedented. In other ways, this moment is reminiscent of previous chapters in the Bay Area’s deep history of political protest and social-justice movement building. Oaklandside contributors Jeannine Ette

Coronavirus test sites are opening in East Oakland’s most impacted neighborhoods —

A COVID-19 test site where anyone can be tested, free of charge, opens on May 6 in deep East Oakland. A second test site is planned to open in the near future. The test sites are a welcome resource for a part of Alameda County that has been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Roots Community Health Center’s clinic at 9925 International Blvd is operating one of the new test sites. “We serve primarily the low-income population, mostly of African descent and especially focusin

Emery Unified Confronts ’Digital Divide‘ During Ongoing School Closure

Emery Unified has always been a tiny school district packed with heart and spunk. That much hasn’t changed. But just about everything around it has. On Mar. 16, the EUSD closed its two schools. It’s an unprecedented event now written in its history. Schools were projected to be closed for just under a month. Nine days later, on Mar. 25, the EUSD announced that schools would be closed through May 1. It didn’t stop there. The third, and most crushing, of these announcements was made on Apr. 3: “S

Oakland Black Housing Union Organizes Mobile March to Demand Housing for Homeless

Oakland Black Housing Union mobilized a caravan of 100 cars for a mobile march demanding housing for unsheltered individuals during the COVID-19 emergency. The action also highlighted the disproportionate amount of COVID-19 cases in Black communities. On the morning of Saturday, Apr. 11 around 10 a.m., 85th Avenue next to the DMV office at the Oakland Coliseum was lined with cars on both sides of the street. More cars poured into the DMV parking lot to wait for further instruction from the Oakl

City Passes Temporary Moratorium on Residential & Commercial Evictions in Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

The City of Emeryville took steps to provide relief to residents and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing shelter-in-place order. They did so by enacting a Moratorium on Residential and Commercial Evictions through an urgency ordinance. At a special meeting held on Thursday, Mar. 19, the five Emeryville City Councilmembers voted unanimously to suspend residential and commercial evictions effective immediately. The moratorium does not excuse renters from fulfilling their lega

Glenn Yasuda, who made Berkeley Bowl internationally known for its excellent produce, dies at 85

Berkeley Bowl, lauded for its seemingly endless varieties of fruits and vegetables, is in mourning after losing the man who started it all. On the evening of Friday, Feb. 14, co-owner and co-founder Glenn Yasuda died from a blood infection. He was 85. Yasuda’s son, Gen, will be stepping into his father’s shoes, heading the two stores in Berkeley, according to workers at the store. The Yasuda family could not be reached for comment. Glenn and his wife Diane opened the first Berkeley Bowl close

Courtyards at 65th Residents Form Tenants Association to Address Livability Concerns

Tenants of the Courtyards at 65th Apartments in Emeryville packed into the complex’s conference center Thursday evening, Sept. 12. The conference room has seen many holiday parties, study sessions and get-togethers throughout the years. But this was the first time the room was filled with residents banding together to collectively voice their concerns about the new management. It had been a month since management switched hands from Alliance Residential Company to Essex Property Trust, who bot

ECAP: On the Front Lines of Emeryville's Battle Against Homelessness & Hunger

The latest point-in-time count shows that Emeryville’s homeless population increased by a staggering 513 percent this year accounting for 178 individuals. In troubling times like these, there are organizations working tirelessly to find ways to help preserve humanity for our homeless and low-income communities. One such organization – the only one of its kind in Emeryville – has been a staple of the community for decades. The entirely volunteer-run Emeryville Citizens Assistance Program (ECAP)

Gov. Newsom Tours Emeryville Affordable Housing Project as Two-Week Application Period Opens

Last Tuesday, July 2, first-year California Governor Gavin Newsom toured Emeryville’s nearly completed $64 million affordable housing development, Estrella Vista. The 87-unit apartment project has been in the works for nearly a decade and is now accepting applications for a brief two-week window. Scheduled for completion this fall, Estrella Vista will include a majority of two-bedroom and above “family friendly” units. The units are specifically reserved for families whose income is 60% AMI (Ar
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