OAKLAND (KCBS) – Religious leaders, neighbors and Mayor Jean Quan gathered in East Oakland Sunday afternoon, taking part in an organized effort to “take back High Street,” block by block.
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“Police can’t do it alone, the teachers can’t do it alone, we as a community have to step up,” declared Quan. “And even though we’re a big city, we’re a city of neighborhoods.”
Quan has made clear she intends to work on reducing crime in Oakland, especially in areas plagued by high unemployment, a sense of hopelessness, and street crime.
“What I’m saying is if we organize around our neighborhoods and we work together with the schools and work together with the police and work together with ourselves that you can turn around almost any neighborhood.”
Participants gathered at Miracles of Faith Community Church, after marching along High Street with signs and trash bags.
Resident Jan Heatherington was hopeful that her neighborhood would be turned around.READ MORE: VIDEO: Shoplifter Fills Up Backpack With Stolen Goods During Stroll Through San Francisco Walgreens
“Cleaning it up, making it a safer street to be on, it’s got a lot of crime attached, a lot of graffiti, a lot of trash, a sense of not being safe. Not wanting to go onto High Street,” she described the sentiment surrounding her community.
“My son now is a victim of these streets, lost here on High Street,” fellow march participant Aunja Thompson recalled the violence that claimed one of her children’s lives.
Young participants offered a sense of hope and optimism.
“Continue working for peace and justice for all,” 9-year-old Donyell Cutrer declared his mission. “We march to take back our street.”
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