Greenlining Institute Leads Effort to Counter Tech-Driven Displacement, Head Off “Gentrification Station”
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – Today, faced with unprecedented threats to Oakland’s diversity and affordability, The Greenlining Institute joined other Oakland advocates to launch No Uber Oakland. The campaign seeks to roll out the unwelcome mat for Uber, which has acquired the former Sears building on Broadway, until and unless the controversial company agrees to work with the community to preserve and enhance Oakland as a diverse, vibrant community for people of all income levels.
“It would be bad enough if Uber was just a horrible company with a record of ignoring laws, condoning sexual harassment, cheating drivers and cozying up to Donald Trump,” said Greenlining Institute President Orson Aguilar. “But Uber also represents a growing wave of tech-driven gentrification that’s already drowning San Francisco and threatens to do the same here. The Oakland community has come together to say, ‘No. We’re not willing to let Oakland become a city that only people with six-figure incomes can afford.’”
Already endorsed by eight community and advocacy organizations, No Uber Oakland has put forth a 10 point platform designed to mitigate a wide variety of the company’s expected impacts. Issues covered include Oakland’s affordability crisis for residents, nonprofits and artists, jobs and training for local workers; contracts for small and minority-owned businesses, treatment of drivers, working with and not undermining the East Bay’s mass transit network, and creation of a community advisory board to ensure that the voices of Oakland residents guide the development of specific plans.
“Uber’s plans for the building it calls Uptown Station look a lot like Gentrification Station to us,” Aguilar said. “We need Uber to set a responsible precedent for other wealthy corporations coming into Oakland, and we need our city government to stand with Oaklanders to hold these companies accountable.”