Recently, the Oak Park Fit-It Cafe celebrated its 20th meeting. Accesslocal visited the organization during that time and filmed this report.
On Sunday, January 13th, members of the Oak Park community came together to paint fences, make pathways and plant fruit trees at what is called Art Garden. If you would like more information on upcoming community gatherings at Art Garden, view the following link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/124122945099230/
The neighborhood of Oak Park is known as a low-income area. Now, it is known as a place where up and coming events are happening and the locals are getting pushed out.
The Oak Park Famers market provides a space for many types of local businesses. This helps to provide them with the advertising they need for more people to recognize their products.
VIDEO: District 5 City Council Candidate, Tamika L’Ecluse, Meets Neighbors For Coffee and Conversation
On April 22nd, City Council Candidate Tamika L’Ecluse met up with residents at Broadway Coffee Co. to answer questions over coffee and discuss her plans regarding District 5.
At McClatchy Park, on April, Saturday 14th, a celebration of Oak Park schools will be held. It’s a free event, with free haircuts for kids. There will be live music, food, and resources for the community, as well as performances by students in the Oak Park area.
This festival is meant to be fun for the whole family, and it encourages stronger communities that know each other better. The schools and students of Oak Park have had many accomplishments and successes. This event recognizes the hard work of Oak Park students and teachers alike.
Vendors will be on hand to help the community recognize some organizations that can help them. Hot dogs will also be cooked for the celebrations, with help from community firefighters. So far, over 700 people are planning to attend.
As Oak Park grows and strengthens as a community, more and more opportunities for socialization appear. The celebration of the schools and students of Oak Park is a great way to connect with neighbors and to support the local community. Plus, it gives students the opportunity to go out in a safe environment and socialize with each other.
Those who want to attend should come to McClatchy Park, on 3500 5th Avenue in Sacramento. The event will be on Saturday, April 14th, from 12:00pm-3:00pm.
Logically, if something is broken, people tend to throw them away. However at the Oak Park Fix-it Cafe, they are trying to change that tradition.
City Rising is a documentary featuring the effects gentrification has in California cities. Gentrification is the process of revitalizing a lower income area to meet the needs of the middle class, and it is typical that the current residents get displaced because they can’t pay the rising prices.
One of the cities featured in this documentary is Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood, specifically in the revitalized area rebranded the Triangle District.
Oak Park was originally a suburb consisting of predominantly white families and a handful of black and Mexican-American families until the 1940s. After World War II, community growth decreased dramatically, forcing white business owners and families to sell their properties. Minorities quickly settled into Oak Park after that because it was one of the few neighborhoods that allowed non-white homeowners.
By the late 1960’s the California State Fair Commission decided it would be better to move the fairgrounds into northern Sacramento, which was the primary source of Oak Park’s economic activity. The documentary explains how Oak Park’s continued economic decline increases crime rates and police presence and eventually adopted the reputation it had in the 1980’s.
This all changed in the 2000’s when the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency and the St. Hope Development Corporation collaborated in turning downtown into an economic engine, starting with renovating the Woodruff Hotel and Guild Theater into lofts and small businesses.
“This project is a much-needed catalyst that will boost the economy and vitality of the Oak Park community,” said former council member Lauren Hammond.
However, not everyone in the community agrees with that.
The founder of Black Lives Matter Sacramento, Tanya Faison, is concerned on how changes in the community will affect its current residents as newer residents begin to flood into the area.
“The area, which used to be mostly, predominantly black… I go there and I don’t even see black people anymore,” Faison expressed in the documentary. “Our mayor has taken it and flipped it and renovated it. People are being criminalized. People are being paid to move out of their apartments.”
Balancing the needs of residents while also trying to stimulate economic activity through a renovation is a struggle for cities, Manuel Pastor, director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity explained. “How can you get in the economic activity that you need to provide to your residents? Public investment is a sign of our public commitment to particular areas and particular people.”
The documentary KCET City Rising: Documentary on Gentrification and Displacement can be watched here.