Oakland, CA: The Self-Made City

Refugees, entrepreneurs, visionaries—these are the historic roots of Oakland, California.  The city has long been home for people building new lives and imagining even better ones.  But dreams deferred also haunt this place, in its empty post-boom skyscrapers, its infamous homicide rates and deep budget cuts.  In the face of entrenched problems, though, the people of Oakland characteristically answer back with diverse, revolutionary solutions.  Everywhere you can feel the forces of idealism, the belief that people working together can make this place with such enormous potential work better.  And in a city where the government hasn’t managed to tackle the biggest problems, people know that if they really want change, they’ll have to make it happen themselves.  In this episode we explore the rewards—and costs—for people dreaming big in Oakland.

Episode Music

Bronx River ParkwayMi Corazon
CopenhaniacsThe Presentation (instrumental remix)
The CoupDig It (instrumental)
Digital UndergroundThe Humpty Dance
Do D.A.T.The Bridge
Do D.A.T.Color Scheme
Do D.A.T.Dat Dat Dat
Duke EllingtonTo You
HieroglyphicsHeat (instrumental)
HieroglyphicsMake Your Move (instrumental)
HieroglyphicsWhat the Funk (instrumental)
Jurassic 5Hugh Fidelity (instrumental)
Jurassic 5If You Only Knew (instrumental)
K-OSRise Like the Sun (Headrush instrumental)
MC HammerCan’t Touch This
RatatatTo Everest
Reflection EternalChaos (instrumental)
Rodger CollinsFoxy Girls in Oakland
Sly and the Family StoneDance to the Music
  • trood

    I’ve owned a business in Downtown Oakland since 2006 and I’m not familiar with any “empty post-boom skyscrapers”…

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