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June 13, 2017

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A Darktown/Chinatown Brawl? A Councilmember Responds

June 13, 2017

Those of you with good memories will recall that a week or so ago, I wrote of my concerns about a possible ethnic-based territorial fight between Oakland’s Chinese-American and African-American communities over Oakland City Councilmember Lynette McElhaney’s proposed new downtown Oakland Black arts and business district (“Is There A Darktown/Chinatown Brawl In The Making In Oakland?” CounterPoints May 26, 2017. That potential fight was threatening to break out because some ambiguous language coming out of Ms. McElhaney’s office left it unclear where Oakland’s Chinatown district ended and her Black cultural district was supposed to begin. I thought that having created the potential problem, it was within Ms. McElhaney’s power to step in and try to clear things up between the two communities.

Ms. McElhaney, apparently, believes somewhat differently about the matter.

Longtime Oakland political and environmental activist James Vann was thoughtful enough to pass my column along to Ms. McElhaney, and got the following from her in reply. [To Complete Column]