Leaders Strive to Make Black Arts Business District a Reality


By Marvin X Jackmon Co-founder of BAMBD


Leaders of the Black Arts Movement Business District (BAMBD) along the 14th Street corridor want:


1) Land placed in a trust not subject to gentrification and developers;


2) The city’s Race and Equity Department to help stop displacement and ongoing evictions, including the Oakland Post News Group and the Betti Ono Gallery;


3) Displaying the BAMBD flag throughout the corridor


4) An immediate moratorium on rent hikes and evictions in the BAMBD corridor;


5) The city to immediately permit members of the BAMBD to vend along the corridor as a sign of entrepreneurship;


6) The BAMBD must have housing, not only for artists but workers, elderly and the marginalized. Those SRO hotels in the downtown area should be acquired with BAMBD residents; and


7) A $1 billion dollar truth fund so we can acquire and secure the necessary land and properties for the BAMBD.


Former San Francisco Mayor Joe Alioto publicly apologized for destroying the economic and cultural vitality of the Fillmore District. No one has apologized for dismantling West Oakland.


But we need more than apology.


We are in a space emergency not only in the BAMBD but throughout Oakland. In Oakland’s “hot” property market, the BAMBD needs equity, or the district will exist in name only.


Like piranhas, the high tech firms and globalists are devouring potential BAMBD land and properties. Perhaps we need to re-gentrify the BAMBD corridor.


Presently, there are few Black owned businesses in the district although at this week’s Oakland Downtown Plan meeting at the Malonga Casquelourd Center, people were directed to the Small Business Department for loans.


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