Gavin Newsom is trying to save this California city, but it’s too little, too late

Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

With homelessness and crime rates skyrocketing right alongside taxes, it’s no wonder that so many people are leaving California.

Liberal politicians have run California into the ground, and people are fleeing in droves.

Now Governor Gavin Newsom is trying to save one California city, but it’s likely much too little, much too late.

Newsom sends more law enforcement to Oakland

The rate of violent crime and other felonies dropped in some of America’s largest cities in 2023; however, they increased in Oakland, California.

Police data found that robberies grew 38% last year in the troubled California city, while burglaries increased 23%, and motor vehicle theft increased 44%.

Approximately one out of every 30 Oakland residents had a vehicle stolen last year, based on analysis from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Now, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he plans to deploy 120 California Highway Patrol Officers to Oakland and select surrounding areas.

The goal is to try and crack down on crime, namely violent crime, vehicle theft, and retail theft.

Even as Newsom says what’s happening in Oakland is “alarming and unacceptable,” business owners have been begging for help for several months before the announcement.

Resident Nigel Jones had his community food center vandalized, and the glass doors were smashed, but he says he isn’t giving up on the city just yet because he’s committed to helping disadvantaged families living there.

Meanwhile, last summer, the Oakland NAACP branch demanded that leaders do something to preserve public safety. 

But Newsom’s efforts may be much too little, too late, as both residents and businesses are leaving the downtown Oakland area in droves over safety concerns.

Shari Godinez represents Koreatown Northgate, which consists of businesses in Oakland, and she says, “If nothing changes, it’ll just start becoming a ghost town.”

However, it’s not just the residents and small businesses that are leaving Oakland – several larger companies, corporations, and chains are also pulling out to protect employees.

In-N-Out just announced the permanent closure of its Oakland location, which is the first time the restaurant chain has permanently closed a store in its history.

After being the only location in Oakland for over 54 years, the Denny’s in the city is also closing for good. 

The company Kaiser Permanente has also said that several of its employees working in its downtown Oakland offices have been victims of armed robberies, vehicle thefts, and other crimes in the latter half of 2023.

It has been so bad that the company issued a memo to employees recommending that they stay inside the building for lunch.

Clorox has also taken measures to protect employees by hiring uniformed security guards to chaperone people to the office from parking garages, public transportation stops, restaurants, and coffee shops.

Crime is still a national problem

While some crime categories did decrease to pre-pandemic levels nationwide, other types of crime increased.

The Council for Criminal Justice study found that motor vehicle theft has shot up nationally by 105% since 2019, and shoplifting has grown by 22%.

According to the study, “Pandemic-related changes in people’s daily activities and emotional and economic stress levels, changes in police practices and a rupture of public trust in law enforcement, and the suspension of reduction of social supports and programs” are all contributors.

As for Oakland, police services and violence prevention programs have been cut as housing prices increase and homeless encampments have multiplied.

The city has also been without a police chief for close to a full year, causing many people to wonder whether staying there is worth it.

Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.