Wednesday, November 26, 2014

On Ferguson a guest post by TH

I usually don't use this blog to discuss anything other than my mundane life, but watching the protests all over the country and in some cases, the looting that takes place because clearly we need more beer and Red-bull to sustain our marches breaks my heart and TH's.

These are her words, but they are my sentiments as well.

TH  grew up going to Old Oakland every Saturday with her father to do their weekly shopping - deli meats and olive oil at Ratto's, coffee at Peerless and visiting the wholesale produce market well before it was gentrified and hip. Many of these businesses stuck it out in Oakland when others fled for the safer enclaves. They survive today thanks to an influx of new people living and working in downtown Oakland and maybe kids or grandkids of others who grew up shopping downtown.



Alas, Susie, this is not true.  Among the businesses looted in the past two days are Genova Delicatessen, Smart and Final, and a Walgreen's drugstore.  Nearby and in danger are food icons such as Ratto's, Cafe 817, and Bakesale Betty.  These are the places that are truly a part of the fabric of Oakland.  Genova has created amazing sandwiches and ravioli for generations.  Smart and Final provides wholesale and retail restaurant supplies for small restaurants in Oakland's Chinatown and for many other nearby restaurants.  The also sell quart bottles of vanilla extract to us overeager bakers.  Walgreen's brings a drug store to a a very underserved neighborhood.

While it is easy to say "oh insurance will cover their damage", these are institutions that have provided food and pharmacy services to a center city that many institutions abandoned.  They remained and worked to rejuvenate old Oakland and Telegraph Avenue and helped sustain the city's revival.  Their insurance may cover the damage, but insurance is not free.  Their rates go up every time there is such wanton looting.  And even if they are not looted they have to board windows, and lose sales and patronage, time and time again.  Eventually they may well say "enough is enough" and close or leave.  And other small businesses may be less inclined to take the risk of investing in Oakland.  These kinds of small losses truly destroy Oakland's social fabric.

Yup. Small losses grow big.  Save Oakland.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautifully stated. I really love reading your blog and eagerly look for it in my mailbox each day.
Vilma

Mari Adams said...

"riot is the language of the unheard" ˜ Martin Luther King Jr.

Joe said...

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