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OAKLAND, CA- Numerous Oakland, California, business owners are preparing to strike in response to the city’s escalating crime. Owners of various small businesses, including restaurants, convenience stores, clothing shops, and doctor’s offices, plan to stage a protest on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon. They are protesting against the severe impact of rising crime on their livelihoods.
Restaurateur Ryan Dixon expressed deep concern about the city’s crime situation, stating that it is affecting small business owners both financially and emotionally. They feel pushed to the brink, with many contemplating closing their businesses. The business community has sent a list of demands to the city, including the establishment of monitored safe parking lots to deter car break-ins. Although Oakland’s mayor has promised to install 300 surveillance cameras by November and increase assistance from the California Highway Patrol, locals believe it’s not enough.
Business owners are dealing with repeated break-ins, staff being held up or assaulted, and even shootings near their establishments, causing fear among visitors to downtown Oakland.
The city of Oakland claims to be actively working on community safety measures for residents, small businesses, and visitors. They have expanded foot patrols and plan to provide grants for community ambassadors, safety programs, and small business assistance. They also intend to create a grant program for business associations to purchase and install cameras on private property.
Despite these efforts, many business owners remain dissatisfied and feel that the city is falling short in addressing their safety concerns. Elke Tatad, managing partner of Todos Cantina in Oakland, revealed that businesses are on the verge of closure due to safety issues and frequent break-ins, despite meetings with city and council officials who suggested hiring private security as a solution.