The Voice and the Community of Oak Park: Black Love and Report Back from Summer Canvassing

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We titled our report from our summer canvassing project,  “Overpoliced and Underserved”,  because this is what residents were noticing about the changes in their neighborhood. As one resident put it, police are everywhere yet do very little to respond to community needs. Police are seen as essentially acting as agents of the gentrification taking place everywhere, engulfing long term residents of the neighborhood. This has been noticed, and noted, by the residents themselves. 

Black Lives Matter Sacramento spent the summer canvassing Oak Park, from 34th-39th streets between 6th and 12th Ave. Several wonderful volunteers joined us, just to help. Braving the summer heat, we collectively knocked on 120 doors, and held about 50 conversations. 31 conversations met all of our criteria to be included in this report: which was mainly that the resident answered most of the questions.

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The report (see complete report here ) captures the major themes that emerged through our conversations. The report captures just a sample of residents’ comments. This report was prepared in order to share at the Black Love Block Party in McClatchy Park on Saturday October 22- it is a preliminary report. We will follow up with a more comprehensive report, one that includes all of residents’ comments, as well as the larger context of the development and policing activity occurring in Oak Park.

As you’ll note in the report, the major themes were that:

  • Police do not create a positive relationship AND they actively create a hostile one, through harassing people of color.

  • Police are explicitly viewed as helping to push people of color out of the Oak Park area.

  • Community improvement is not meant for everyone: Some residents feel that as improvements are made in Oak Park, they are being made for the benefit of newly arrived, higher income, often white “gentrifiers” rather than for long term residents. This impression is highlighted by the fact that in many parts of Oak Park, residents' needs are not being met, especially when it comes to safety.

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Check out more of the residents’ comments in the full report.

Meanwhile, we shared the feedback from canvassing at the Black Love Block Party, which was so full of joy and community. See a few pics below, and be sure to go to our Facebook page to see more pics in the album we made for this beautiful day of fun, food, and family.  

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We also honored the memory of Adriene Ludd, who was murdered by Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputies on October 22, 2015, exactly one year to the day of the Black Love Block Party event. 

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At the Black Love Block Party, children colored pages with Adriene’s likeness and favorite sayings. He will not be forgotten. 

To date, Sheriff Scott Jones has shown nothing but callous indifference to the family of Adriene Ludd, sharing no information about his case, one year later. This corrupt Sheriff is on the county ballot for District 7 Congressional rep- let's make sure he does NOT get elected and let's get him out of the Sheriff's department as soon as possible. 

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Thank you Oak Park for sharing your thoughts and your time with us this summer. We plan to lift your voices up in everything that we do.

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Join us in December to continue the conversation:

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