The Bay Area of California has a booming economy thanks in part to the tech industry, but according to multiple reports, poverty remains at record levels. The Joint Venture Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies showed that poverty in the area is above 11 percent, and that children are disproportionately affected. According to the Anne E. Casey Foundation, 1 in 4 children are hampered by their economic status. High paying jobs have driven up the cost of living, making it even harder for low-wage families to make ends meet. Many fear that gentrification and other factors are driving people into pockets of poverty. Tensions, violence, and unrest are occurring.
As the reach of CWB has expanded over the years, it has become necessary to those of us in the Bay Area to recognize the very real crisis of poverty, oppression, and violence playing out here at home. We’re so excited to start a project locally that we can sustain and grow.
For over a year our clowns have been meeting with leaders from East Oakland, California, including local churches and non-profits such as The Oakland Catholic Worker, and Oakland Community Organizations, exploring ways to partner sustainably.
This is an exciting first step, and we’re eager to continue this work with The Oakland Catholic Worker. As we continue to explore and build on this partnership, we will keep you informed about our latest efforts and projects.