"Oakland is home
— Where we started our family
— Where we like to enjoy artwork 'graffiti' in the neighborhood
— Where we know our neighbors
— Where we enjoy our local businesses, helping our city grown from within
HOPE for the FUTURE"
—Clarissa, Che & Caleb
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Like so many families who are part of the Oakland Neighborhood Project, Clarissa and Che are passionate about Oakland and particularly their neighborhood of Clawson, well known for it's beautiful street art. Weekend walks with Caleb to view the art are a regular thing for them. In fact, while we were taking these photos, one of the artists (Ernest Doty), stopped to chat as he was riding by on his bike.
One thing really strikes me about what Clarissa and Che wrote on their board—and it's something others have written as well and that I hear quite a bit in my travels around our lovely city—"We know our neighbors." That is a vital part of who Oakland is. And knowing your neighbors isn't just about having somebody who will remind you to move your car on street cleaning day, it is the foundation for a healthy, safe and vital community. A 2010 Pew survey found that 28 percent of people in this country don't know any of their neighbors names. I'm pretty confident that's not the case here in Oakland. So, thank you Che, Clarissa and all the others in this project for reminding us all of the need to stay connected. Now go out there and say hi to that new neighbor across the street.