Many Highlighter subscribers call Oakland their home. But you don’t need to live in Oakland to understand the city’s rapid changes. What many say has happened in San Francisco (e.g., unaffordable housing, gentrification, displacement, a loss of identity and character) is happening in Oakland. This report, which focuses on one block in North Oakland, explains the effects that Proposition 13, passed by voters in 1978 to reduce taxes for homeowners, has had on education, housing, and business. Take your time: click on all seven stories, take a look at the maps and charts, and realize that there isn’t a simple solution to this mess.
The biggest problem in American education, according to our lead article two weeks ago (#163), is not the achievement gap. It’s the opportunity myth. We promise kids of color that if they work hard, they’ll be rewarded. This is a lie. Across the country, we’re comfortable offering a separate and unequal education to Black and Brown students, as long as white kids get the resources they need.
In January, Roxane Gay (#82, #99) decided to get a sleeve gastrectomy, which greatly reduced the size of her stomach. “As a fat person,” Ms. Gay writes, “I am supposed to want to lose weight. I am supposed to be working on the problem of my body.” She told no one, not even her family, about the operation. Now she’s losing weight — but isn’t any happier. (21 min) (For more on weight and our sense of self, see #104, #105, #124)