Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Oakland, California: A Portrait of Failure (cont.)

Oakland's hope (left) and reality (right).

Oakland, California, long-considered the poor stepsister of its neighbor across the Bay (San Francisco) has seemingly struggled all its life

Like a Rodney Dangerfield punchline, "It don't get any respect." Even noted writer Gertrude Stein took a chip at her native city with her infamous line, "There is no there there."

Lately, the city has been struggling more than ever. Civil unrest, shuttered businesses, and its pro sports looking to get out of town have all hurt morale...and whatever was left of its image. Included in that mix is the fact that crime is killing Oakland. Recently, reports listed it as the "robbery capital" of the United States (and the other rankings for serious crimes ain't far behind).

You'd think that everyone would be racing for the exit gates -- and a good many are -- but there is a lot of pride among the law-abiding residents (as well as investment/equity in homes). Hoping to stave-off increasing crime, some Oakland-area residents are taking it upon themselves to protect themselves.

Techpresident has this story: "In Rockridge, the answer has been to crowdfund private security services, with the aim of compensating for an understaffed police department in the city with the highest robbery rate in America. In the last few weeks three separate campaigns have been started on Crowdtilt in order to fund four months of private security patrols in three different section of Rockridge."

So there you have it: self-reliance. Knowing the city of Oakland and its underfunded, understaffed and under appreciated Police Department can't help, residents are taking on the challenge.

It's too bad it's come to this, but Americans have always found a way to take care of themselves.

As for Oakland, it's another sign of the death spiral it's locked into...

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