Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Scorned Oakland 'gentrifier' accepts the label but calls for truce
San Jose Mercury News ^ | 02/13/2014 | Matt O'Brien

Posted on 02/19/2014 5:17:26 PM PST by Lonely Bull

OAKLAND -- Steve Kopff was one of many San Franciscans who cascaded last year into sunnier, cheaper, hipper Oakland.

He bought and began restoring a historic but rundown mansion. He planted vegetables, raised backyard hens and bees, launched a neighborhood newsletter and peppered his Facebook account with paeans to his new city.

But this year, Kopff became a scorned symbol of the angst over Oakland gentrification. He wrote an online essay describing his diverse, working-class neighborhood east of Lake Merritt as "mostly undiscovered" and a "virtual food desert" in need of an organic supermarket, better restaurants and "a coffee kiosk with patisserie bites."

(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; gentrification; gentrifier; oakland; sanfrancisco

1 posted on 02/19/2014 5:17:26 PM PST by Lonely Bull
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Lonely Bull

“hipper Oakland.”

Beating up whitey is chic.


2 posted on 02/19/2014 5:19:49 PM PST by Huskrrrr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lonely Bull

trying to improve a ‘hood is now a bad thing?


3 posted on 02/19/2014 5:20:17 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lonely Bull
in need of an organic supermarket, better restaurants and "a coffee kiosk with patisserie bites."

4 posted on 02/19/2014 5:28:44 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lonely Bull

I’ve heard the word “gentrification” several times recently.

Wondering what the word would be if the Oakland standard were introduced into a nice neighborhood in SF?


5 posted on 02/19/2014 5:30:15 PM PST by Bronzewound (Lost Hope & Loose Change)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huskrrrr
"Kopff and his partner were horrified."
6 posted on 02/19/2014 5:31:55 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

LOO, great graphic. If you don’t want to be thought of as a gentrifying interloper please do not call for patisserie bites, or arugala, or brie, just don’t.


7 posted on 02/19/2014 5:33:24 PM PST by jocon307
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Lonely Bull
"Why do you think you can move into someone's ancestral land and start taking it over, evicting them from their homes and pushing out their businesses?" wrote Lambert, who moved to the city eight years ago.

"Ancestral" - you keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

8 posted on 02/19/2014 5:33:31 PM PST by Billthedrill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huskrrrr
Fun story of liberals who are getting a taste of just what they have inspired and unleashed on the rest of the country. Pure poetic justice.
9 posted on 02/19/2014 5:40:04 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Gentrification: the process of turning a delapidated crime ridden garbage infested hell hole into a reasonably nice place to live


10 posted on 02/19/2014 5:40:36 PM PST by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ. In the US the number is 54%)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: GeronL; Lonely Bull
trying to improve a ‘hood is now a bad thing?

Bringing in other cultures to a neighborhood is fine unless it is American White Culture.

The guy is just talking about bringing new businesses to the neighborhood and he is attacked like he is an alien life form.

11 posted on 02/19/2014 5:41:31 PM PST by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Bronzewound

“Wondering what the word would be if the Oakland standard were introduced into a nice neighborhood in SF?”

That would be promoting “diversity”, of course.


12 posted on 02/19/2014 6:02:11 PM PST by gop4lyf (Are we no longer in that awkward time? Or is it still too early?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Huskrrrr
I lived in that nieghborhood in 1972

2102 9th Avenue, Oakland, California, United States

thing have changed a great deal in the last 40 years and I doubt Id want to live there today

great old building though


13 posted on 02/19/2014 6:06:56 PM PST by MeshugeMikey (Where are The Weapons Of Mass Global Climate Change Destruction?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

“a coffee kiosk with patisserie bites.”

we call those “Starbucks”.


14 posted on 02/19/2014 6:10:33 PM PST by RitchieAprile
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
"Kopff and his partner were horrified."

Before my inner sense of How Much To Quote got to me, I thought of quoting up to that line.

Yes, it's a gay partner, and the fact does get mentioned later on as a reason why Kopff And His Partner moved there:

[...] Kopff and his partner bought the house after considering a wealthier and whiter Oakland neighborhood they found too elitist.

"We're a gay couple. We can be discriminated against as well. We wanted to find a place where we could kind of melt in a little better," Kopff said.

I'm not totally clear on what he means.

Is he afraid of neighborhood discrimination? Never having being part of a gay couple that moved to a wealthier and whiter part of Oakland, I don't know for certain, but I'm a local and doubt that they'd get much systemic local discrimination if they'd moved uphill. This is a progressive and tolerant region, and if anyone doesn't like it, we'll drum them out of the city.

Or does he mean (and "elitist" makes me think so) that he expects more solidarity and shared purpose in an area where other people have experienced discrimination?

Oh, he got his wish.

I don't have a small vocabulary, especially when it comes to food, but I had to look up "patisserie."

And actually having been historically closer to Berkeley, where I've lived, worked, and gone to college, I could've easily told him that "undiscovered" has Colonialist Overtones and shouldn't be used like this by a Privileged White Person.

(But on the other hand, "food desert" is a well-known term at the White House, where no one is privileged.)

15 posted on 02/19/2014 6:10:56 PM PST by Lonely Bull
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Lonely Bull
Hmmn, I wonder if this is the same jerk I had to deal with a couple years ago. My wife's mom owns a house in SF. This jerk and his boyfriend moved in next door, and started organizing a few other residents into creating a community garden and a newsletter. Unfortunately, he ran roughshod over longtime residents, ignoring their privacy. There's a strip of land, an alleyway that runs behind mom's backyard. Traditionally used for fire emergency access, and residents to access backyards. This jerk fenced it off with a gate and started planting trees and a pathway. Then he had the city cite my mom-in-law for overgrowth in her yard (mostly because it didn't fit in with his plans).

We fought the violation notice and got it revoked. Mostly because the supposed permits for planting trees behind mom's house had been forged in her signature by this jerk. Yep, he wanted his way and forged her name (in a way she never signs anything) on permits. I got in a big argument with the guy, who was a yuppie gay interloper new to the community. Mom-in-law and neighbor next to her been there since the early 1950s while these wine-sipping yuppies just arrived recently from out of state. After I threatened him and his business along with a couple other friend neighbors on our side, he and his boyfriend moved last year. Might be the same guy, all I know was his name was Steve. Might be a different guy, but the intentions are the same. Troublemaker to long-time residents.

16 posted on 02/19/2014 6:15:54 PM PST by roadcat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lonely Bull

Oops:

My “especially when it comes to food” isn’t supposed to be a boast. I’m not a “foodie” (ugh, that word). I’m not someone who works with food and therefore should have a large food-related vocabulary anyway.

It’s supposed to mean that if I’m not too careful, I’d wind up living to eat. There are languages which I know largely from menus.


17 posted on 02/19/2014 6:16:05 PM PST by Lonely Bull
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Lonely Bull
Online critics swiftly labeled him a pushy colonizer with a "white settler mentality." They denounced him as representing a wave of tone-deaf newcomers trying to remake the city in their own image without consulting their African-American, immigrant and lower-income neighbors who held it together for years.

Can you IMAGINE the uproar if residents of a white neighborhood openly voiced that kind of attitude against a black couple moving in? Obama would have called for federal troops to come in.

18 posted on 02/19/2014 6:18:49 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RitchieAprile; BenLurkin

>>“a coffee kiosk with patisserie bites.”

>>>>we call those “Starbucks”.

I call that “the area to the left of my kitchen sink.” Well, minus the patisserie bites. I do keep some biscotti in the panty. Cheap at Costco.


19 posted on 02/19/2014 6:20:07 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: roadcat

His picture is at the link; you didn’t look?

Is it him?


20 posted on 02/19/2014 6:31:05 PM PST by logi_cal869
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Lonely Bull

“Gentrify” means fixing up your property without my permission.


21 posted on 02/19/2014 6:31:53 PM PST by marron
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pontiac

“The guy is just talking about bringing new businesses to the neighborhood and he is attacked like he is an alien life form. “

The hood is a racket. Real jobs and self-reliance would upset the delicate balance between the parasite and its host. Or the scammer and his mark, if you prefer.


22 posted on 02/19/2014 6:42:34 PM PST by PLMerite
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

Hell, it was a “bad thing” in the Mission district across the bay 20 years ago...


23 posted on 02/19/2014 7:14:29 PM PST by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Lonely Bull

“If you like your slum, you can keep your slum.”


24 posted on 02/19/2014 7:43:39 PM PST by informavoracious (Open your eyes, people!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lonely Bull

There’s a Whole Paycheck on Bay Street near Lake Merritt. What’s his beef?


25 posted on 02/19/2014 7:59:03 PM PST by thecodont
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: logi_cal869
Is it him?

No, but very similar. My wife says it isn't him. I have some sympathy for those folks in Oakland. At mom's house in SF, newcomers are welcome in the neighborhood but they shouldn't trample rights of long-time residents.

My wife has a girlfriend living in a house adjacent to the alleyway behind mom's house. The jerk was filing complaints to the city to harass my wife's friend because he wanted her to improve her property. He didn't like the looks of her house and yard. She is on limited income with bad health, still working in her 60s supporting her family and can't afford to do much. She does what she can. When the jerk filed a complaint on mom's yard I almost went postal on him. He had several chicken coops, with about 15 chickens and sometimes I had to chase them out of mom's yard. He dumped his construction debris behind mom's fence in the alley and I had been after him for a couple months to remove it. So I started shoveling the rocks and lumber into his flower beds and the fight was on. Our girlfriend's son said he would call the cops on him, I said don't bother it won't do any good. Cops came out and said they can't intervene, it was up to us neighbors to settle it ourselves, and they left. After I got into the guy's face and made it known he had more to lose than me, he backed off.

Mom and other long-time residents don't deserve to be treated like crap by newly-arrived yuppies who want changes outside their boundaries. I have nothing against people improving their property, I am all for it. I have about the best house on my block and have a neighbors crappy house next door that is the worst on the block. I don't force my preferences on anyone.

26 posted on 02/19/2014 8:09:07 PM PST by roadcat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: roadcat

I just thought maybe you missed the photo. I don’t click on all the host links either. I was following this due to the ‘gentrification’ angle vs. another post I was following about my hometown. No comparison, though, save for the race issues that are the same everywhere...

That is...unless you can tell me that SF/Oakland have municipal policies that are out to drive up land values like Portland (unaware of that if it’s the case).


27 posted on 02/19/2014 8:26:24 PM PST by logi_cal869
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: logi_cal869
No comparison, though, save for the race issues that are the same everywhere…

I really don't think this is about race. Although maybe the guy being gay might have something to do with it. I don't know what it is about gays, but they always seem to be shoving their agendas onto everyone else. They don't try to fit in and co-exist.

About municipal policies, that's a mixed bag. Land values have skyrocketed here. Mom's house is worth a million now, and homes are selling a couple hundred Gs over asking. A home nearby got remodeled and just sold for $3m, crazy. They sold for about $30g about 40 years ago. The city is trying to get low-income housing built, is discouraging car use in favor of bikes and public transit. These policies are doomed to failure, and the city should let the future take it's own course. You can only cram so many people into a city; cramming more in will only make it intolerable. People will leave of their own accord for lower-cost areas. Those who can afford it will come in. Gentrification is a natural process. But people should not be forced to conform their own property to the likes of newcomers, and I believe in personal property rights.

28 posted on 02/19/2014 8:51:12 PM PST by roadcat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: roadcat

Maybe you misunderstand my poorly-stated comment: The ‘race’ is from the other side...the side that always claims ‘gentrification’; the article cites a 35-year white resident being called a ‘gentrifier’. I personally find it amusing that the gay couple would be so ignorant as to believe they would ‘melt in’ moving into the ‘big white mansion on the hill’ in minority-heavy Oakland just because they’re gay. Or, as the one black neighbor calls Oakland, “ancestral lands”.

I’ve documented City of Portland, OR policies on driving up land values; I don’t know what they call it when it happens to working-class non-black neighborhoods, but it’s all over the city in the urban growth boundary. They are also doing the ‘high-density/no car/mass transit’ housing thing. Some parallels, it seems...more than I thought. Good ‘ol boys network hard at work...


29 posted on 02/19/2014 9:13:09 PM PST by logi_cal869
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: logi_cal869

Yes, sorry, I did misunderstand. This driving up of land values is insane. I can tell you what it did to SF. Back when I was growing up in the city, it was about 16 percent black. These blacks originally migrated into the city during WWII when workers were needed for the shipyards. Japanese-Americans were rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps elsewhere, leaving empty housing in SF that was then utilized by incoming blacks from the south. As the city became wealthier, blacks moved across the SF Bay to cheaper housing, and now blacks account for less than 6 percent of the population. Oakland since WWII has historically had a lot of blacks, mostly on the flatlands (”ancestral lands” since WWII). They are now being driven out by incoming Asians; what happened in SF is now happening to Oakland. Wealthy whites have always been in Oakland, on the hills. My daughter lived there for a while until a few years ago, practically all white - Oakland is not as black as people think. It’s the poorer flatlands that are being gentrified (much of it by Asians).

I can’t make sense out of why land prices are sky high, except it parallels the loss of the industrial base in favor of hi-tech work. My dad bought his house in SF a few years after WWII for $6g, fully furnished. My mom sold it for $23g in the early 1970s to a couple yuppies who remodeled it. Now it’s worth between $1.5m to $2m. Kids can’t afford what their parents had. Crazy. What happened here will happen to Portland.


30 posted on 02/19/2014 9:42:12 PM PST by roadcat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: roadcat
What happened here will happen to Portland.

Is happening. Frankly, since I was party to public meetings of Portland shilling their policies to Eugene politicians, I wouldn't be surprised if Portland learned its ways from its sister cities both down south and up north. Without Federal dollars pouring into the city for its mass transit pork projects and all the welfare dollars, the city would be a lot more like Detroit. Ironically the story of blacks settling SF for shipyard work in WWII mirrors that of Portland...the race breakdown is the same roughly, too. As far a land/property prices, if you do a careful analysis of what's happened to residential real estate over the past 40 years or so, it looks a lot like a pyramid scheme. I realized that 20 years ago and it's only worse now, particularly due to political pressures to queer the market for 'social equality'...(aside from the bailouts given rather than letting things 'equalize' on their own).

31 posted on 02/19/2014 10:16:23 PM PST by logi_cal869
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: MeshugeMikey
2102 9th Avenue, Oakland, California, United States

Is that the right address?

According to this link, Steven J. Kopff and Josh Stenzel purchased 1218 East 21st Street, aka the Ellen Kenna House (1888), in early 2013 and began the lengthy process of gentrifying it to its original glory.

Josh posted a pic on Pinterest:


32 posted on 02/19/2014 10:41:31 PM PST by cynwoody
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Lonely Bull

Hmmm, How much has Oakland Councilman Kalb and his stooge Danette Lambert done to drive out poorer residents by jacking up their property taxes?


33 posted on 02/19/2014 11:32:39 PM PST by Rockpile
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cynwoody

Yep,,,I had to use google street view...to get the address as all I could remember was that it was on the corner on Ninth Avenue.


34 posted on 02/20/2014 7:59:13 AM PST by MeshugeMikey (Where are The Weapons Of Mass Global Climate Change Destruction?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: MeshugeMikey

Hi, just wanted to submit a correction to this post. The house pictured on the corner of 9th Ave. is not the same home. The inhabitants of that house have lived there since 1977.


35 posted on 04/01/2014 12:52:37 AM PDT by sjasmin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: sjasmin

Thank you.


36 posted on 04/01/2014 6:42:26 AM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: dsrtsage

And using pricing to keep out those who caused the hell hole in the first place.

Being poor doesn’t cause one to be a criminal,
but there does seem to be a common cause...

poor character -> poverty
poor character -> criminal tendencies


37 posted on 04/01/2014 6:44:43 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

Black is no longer a race, it’s a culture.


38 posted on 04/01/2014 6:47:13 AM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson