If you thought the idea of “gentrification” was solely attributed to certain boroughs and neighborhoods in New York City, well, aren’t you in for a surprise.
The nature of the beast — known as urban displacement — has been greatly affecting, forcefully relocating and disenfranchising families all over the nation. Apart from the aforementioned gentrification in New York, the Bay Area is also one of the other hardest hit cities.
With the all-pervasive tech boom currently shaking up Northern California, more and more overzealous, overnight millionaires are pushing their way into neighborhoods like the Mission in San Francisco, and more humble areas of Oakland, subsequently raising prices in neighboring properties and requiring those who live in lower income brackets to pack up and move.
According to BizJournal, “Eighteen percent of all census tracts in the region are low-income and at risk of displacement and gentrification” while “ten percent – like tracts in the Mission, South of Market, West Berkeley and Oakland’s Highland Park – are already undergoing “advanced gentrification and displacement””.
Ching and Cally — two friends of mine from the Bay Area — can attest to this, as can Baba Zumbi (of Oakland rap duo Zion I). Zumbi revealed to MarketWatch that he also was essentially forced out of his East Oakland home.
“In art, you take your hard times and make them good times. I wrote this song as a reaction to my experience of all of a sudden being introduced to this gentrification thing in the city I love.”
To drive home this alarming fact, Zumbi filmed his family moving out of their home, set to the sound of Zion I’s 2015 Mikos Da Gawd-produced single “Tech $.” Watch the video above, and check out UC Berkley’s urban displacement map below.