Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
Abdul Pridgen will lead the district’s community-based safety program
Li Khan, Editor in Chief • June 21, 2024
Carpentry instructor spruces up department
Carpentry instructor spruces up department
Rym-Maya Kherbache, Staff Writer • April 24, 2024
Archives
A cap at the Laney College commencement ceremony on May 24 reads in Spanish, This is for my mom who gave me everything. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
Graduations, resignations and more: PCCD Trustees wrap up school year at 5/28 meeting
Romi Bales, Staff Writer • June 17, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
Archives

    Community Garden threatened with eviction

    Afrika Town community garden in West Oakland.Near the corner of West Grand and San Pablo Avenues in Oakland, a budding community garden thrives under a brightly colored mural. 
    The garden, named “Afrika Town,” has been gradually expanding over the past four months due to efforts of community members, students, volunteers, and a couple of local non-profits. Qilombo, the adjoining community center, started Afrika Town as a food resource for the community.
    The West Oakland neighborhood has limited access to fresh produce, so the garden serves as a welcome oasis for neighbors looking for organic produce and a place to connect. Volunteer and Merritt College Professor in African-American Studies, Danae Martinez says, “The people in this area are what society considers ‘throw-away people’…and these same people have a place to feel proud of and engaged in.”
     According to volunteers, the lot where the garden now stands had been abandoned for over a decade. The lot was previously filled with waste, needles, towering weeds, and rats.
     Afrika Town was up and running only a few weeks before the owner of the land showed up with 13 police officers and a bulldozer, threatening to level the garden. 
    The potential displacement of the garden mirrors larger concerns of displacement facing the West Oakland community. The owner had plans to sell the lot to developers who intend to build luxury condos.

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    “Who would care about a lot that’s been empty for 14 years? Someone who knows there’s money coming into this neighborhood. Why else would they care? They haven’t cared for all these years before,” said garden volunteer Linda Grant when asked why developers were coming in now. 
    On April 3, the day that the realtors were to return, over 400 community members showed up throughout the day to protest, some arriving as early as 7 a.m.
    Midway through the afternoon the City of Oakland announced that they were able to negotiate with the owner of land and that the garden could stay if they were willing to purchase the lot. 
    The organizers are hoping to raise the asking price of $995,000 via crowd funding. As of April 13 they had raised $320 and had 54 days left in their crowd funding campaign.

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    Besides the garden space, Qilombo offers other community resources and services such as a free access to their library and computer lab, clothing giveaways, classes and community breakfast. 
    To donate to the garden visit indiegogo.com/projects/save-afrika-town.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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