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Oakland displaced housing activist Paula Beal speaks

July 19, 2016

by The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey

BlockReportRadio.com talks to Oakland-based housing activist Paula Beal, who is herself a displaced senior, about the lack of affordable housing, a crisis in Oakland. She talks about the struggles that homeless displaced people go through in this town, her recent demonstration at the door of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and what people can do to assist displaced families and to support the fight for affordable housing in Oakland.

Paula Beal, who was recently forced out of her home by a sudden 27 percent rent increase and who has seen her seven children, 27 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren displaced out of Oakland, is the subject of an April 21, 2016, story in the London Guardian called “Oakland's housing crisis: ‘I’m the last one here. I don’t know if I can stay or go.’”

Paula Beal, who was recently forced out of her home by a sudden 27 percent rent increase and who has seen her seven children, 27 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren displaced out of Oakland, is the subject of an April 21, 2016, story in the London Guardian called “Oakland’s housing crisis: ‘I’m the last one here. I don’t know if I can stay or go.’”

Project leader for the West Oakland Corner Store Project, Paula says: “Right now … it’s a housing crisis! … From 2010 to 2015, 50,000 people have been evicted,” 5,000 already this year, just in Oakland. “There are thousands of people all over the streets in Oakland, everywhere you go. … Many have never been homeless before; many are seniors. … All the shelters are full.”

What can we do? Paula advises: “We need to get together. We have to start thinking about self-care, self-determination, self-empowerment, self-ownership. We need to own our own homes; we need to own our own businesses. … In Chinatown, what do you see – all businesses, all different kinds of businesses, owned by Chinese. … Street after street of businesses and places over the businesses – who lives in those places? Chinese. Who works in those places? Chinese. Who owns those places? Chinese. … We have a long way to go to catch up. …

“We have to live so that the next generation won’t have to go through what we did.” Tune in for more at BlockReportRadio.com.

The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’“ and “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin’ 2“ and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe“ and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached at blockreportradio@gmail.com.

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