Edward Shands Adult School was closed in 2012, and it has largely existed as a blighted property since then. A drain on the neighborhood and the district. At last week’s 7-11 committee meeting, the group charged with “surplussing” properties got an earful from the community. I hope they were listening.
OUSD is broke and yet it holds significant assets in land and buildings that sit completely unused. This makes no sense, amidst the homelessness and displacement in Oakland.
It is great to see the community coming out and making their voices heard, when so often the loudest and most persistent voices crowd out the folks most affected. And their message was clear, do something with Shands that benefits the community.
Public Buildings for Public Uses
You can see the community priorities below. They want the property to enrich the community, NOT to be used for market rate housing, and not to displace the community. They also were clear that they wanted SOMETHING to happen, they did not want this to stall politically like so many things do.
To those that promised to “shut down” this process, please step back and listen to the actual community about what they want. About how this blighted property, that could have been turned into a community asset has sat vacant since the last time OUSD tried to surplus properties, and some proudly stalled the process, to the detriment of the community.
You can see speakers here breaking this down, and community organizations that have been doing the work for years.
You can see the testimony here, discussing the neglect of the property and need to do something.
And also the Black Cultural Collaborative’s take on how we can use the site to uplift the community
So to the OUSD Board and 7-11 Committee, listen to the real community who live with this blight and can re-envision it as an asset, and do something. And for those that want to “shut it down.” Please do the same.
If you don’t think we need this please look at the slides below