At Oakland City Hall for a meeting this morning and saw this banner. Oakland is Warriors Ground. There should be an asterisk that says until 2017. My city has major issues, and I know on the surface it doesn’t seem like keeping a sports team in the city should be a priority over the other challenges the city faces – like crime. But the loss of a team means losses of jobs and opportunities – which impacts economics. Ultimately, this could send the economic-education-health matrix into a tailspin. I do find it ironic that in this same picture is a banner promoting a walk to end poverty. I guess we better lace up our shoes, because if my city doesn’t develop a better economic infrastructure, we’ll be walking forever. #oakland
Every person has a story. Even if the most exciting event is going on, I like to stop and people watch – and try and figure out their stories. I don’t know this young man’s name, but he caught my eye. In a strong, yet sing-songy voice he would periodically yell “coffee! Hot coffee!” When requested, he would quietly spritz a cup from the jet pack looking contraption on his back – “cream and sugar?” he’d politely ask. While in our section, he would duck down when action was on the field – and when it was over, he would continue his mission – “coffee! Hot coffee!!” While in view, I noticed he had a tattoo on his right forearm that said “rest in peace.” I wondered who he may have lost – what kind of life he has or is living. What lead him to being a vendor at the coliseum? This young man is just one of the many concession folks that pound the pavement at the Coliseum and Oracle – braving the elements and navigating the oft challenging patrons to make sure that your experience is at the least warm and inviting. With the constant conversation of all three sports teams leaving Oakland – I wonder if they even consider what this may mean for this young man. By then, I wonder what his story will be.