With the start of the gold rush in 1849, Oakland became a boomtown. For those who came by ship, Oakland was the jumping-off point before heading up into the gold fields of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The city boomed again when the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869. Suddenly it became the terminus for all east-west rail travel, the final rail stop before travelers completed their final leg by ferry headed to the fabled San Francisco.
By 1870, Oakland was the most diverse city in the country, a temporary home to miners and adventurers from around the world and home to African-Americans, many former slaves, who worked as porters for the Pullman Company. Due to the lower cost of living at the western end of the line and Oakland's social freedom -- nearly 100 years before the passage of the Civil Rights Act -- blacks were unfettered, able to buy homes, acquire wealth and achieve civic prestige in Oakland.
But look at Oakland today. It has become known for violence and crime. What happened? Well, the radical Left has succeeded in almost destroying the black community and families -- driving Oakland to near ruin.
In "Disaster by the Bay" in the April issue of Townhall Magazine, Oakland native and Townhall contributor Larry Kelley takes a look at the liberal policies -- and the one-party rule over the Bay area -- that have destroyed this formerly great city.
This piece also exposes how and when the Democratic political establishment merged with Oakland's criminal underworld -- revealing the close ties between the Democratic Party and the radical Black Panthers.
There's more -- much more -- in the full report, "Disaster by the Bay," in the April issue. Here are some excerpts:
In Oakland, few Republicans ever even run for elective office. And from a fiscal point of view, Oakland is a microcosm of California's Democratic one-party rule. The state struggles to cope with a $25 billion deficit. Oakland recently laid off 80 police officers, among other across-the-board cuts, in order to deal with its $50 million budget shortfall. ...
The Wall Street Journal reported that, for the month of September 2010, California led all other states with 63,500 job losses and was way out in front of second-place New York (37,600 lost jobs). Walking down Broadway, the central boulevard in downtown Oakland, one cannot avoid noticing the numbers of vacant large buildings facing the street.
And for the past 40 years, while one-party rule has presided over the decimation of its once prosperous African-American families, Ron Dellums and his former assistant, Barbara Lee, have been the only two representatives sent to Congress from California's 9th Congressional District, serving Oakland. Dellums, the man who once vowed to "take the CIA apart brick by brick," was elected to Congress in 1970 and served continuously until 1998 when Lee -- who got her start in Oakland's political underworld as the onetime confidential aide to Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton -- succeeded him.
In 1981, as chair of the subcommittee on Military Installations, Dellums went on his own fact-finding mission to Grenada to determine if the airstrip the Cubans and Russians were building there was being developed for military use. He returned to falsely assure Congress that it was not.
Both Dellums and Lee colluded with communist Grenada dictator Maurice Bishop in an attempt to cover up the fact that the Soviet Union was, in fact, building a military airport there. Even Wikipedia records that documents liberated from Grenada demonstrate that Dellums did commit what was arguably a treasonous act while serving as Oakland's congressional representative. The documents also reveal that Lee was his messenger.
As long as Oakland continues to elect people like Dellums and Lee, hope for the region remains small. ...
The San Francisco Chronicle recently ran a story proclaiming the GOP brand in California dead. Having been ruled by progressive policies for years, the state is a prime example of the damage a government can do to a business climate. With one of the highest sales taxes, the fourth-highest capital gains taxes, one of the worst bond ratings and much more, businesses are leaving the state -- which impacts a city on the downward slide like Oakland exponentially harder.
What's worse: After years of progressive policies, the state is a prime example of the damage a government can do to a community and to families -- and with liberal Democratic policies, it becomes a vicious cycle.
One can drive into the ghetto and marvel at the Victorian homes still standing there, built when Oakland was young and the West was still wild. But what is most immediately obvious is the squalid conditions of a once thriving, beautiful community.
This is what happens when liberals are repeatedly placed in charge: Lives are ruined.
Stop to consider ObamaCare. On Feb. 10, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf testified to the House Budget Committee that ObamaCare, when fully implemented, is expected to eliminate employment for 800,000 Americans. It turns out that, for Oakland's permanent underclass, the agents of their misery are the politicians whom they continuously vote to govern them: Lee, Dellums, Gov. Jerry Brown, President Obama and the rest of the far-Left progressives who are false prophets, who offer to subsidize self-destructive behavior and who are the creators of dependence.
Get the entire in-depth piece, "Disaster by the Bay," and the truth about the Left's ties to the criminal underground, order Townhall Magazine today.