UPTOWN APARTMENTS. Buildings of glass and steel. Hipsters. Strollers. Artisanal lattes and cupcakes. Chic cafes littered with Apple laptops. These are some of the myriad images associated with gentrification in Oakland, but to see them as the end of the story would conceal the role of the 1 Percent in turning our city on its head so they can profit from displacement.
The West Oakland Specific Plan (WOSP) is the most recent scheme for gentrifying Oakland, pushing people of color and blue-collar workers out, and moving tech in. It labels large swaths of West Oakland “opportunity sites” for redevelopment and connects with other redevelopment schemes to cover a massive area, stretching from Interstate 880 to Adeline Street, and East 14th Street to Emeryville.
Plans to redevelop the Coliseum and Lake Merritt are also in the works. While WOSP’s authors promise “a healthy, vibrant West Oakland” and tout the input of “a wide range of community members [and] stakeholders,” in content, WOSP is a plan for “development with displacement,” in the words of Causa Justa :: Just Cause.