Gentrification and fast food: Oakland & Sacramento

Desmond Maegley of Oakland, Ca.

Sixty-one percent of people know someone who moved out of Oakland because housing became too expensive. Many youth looking to move out are watching the property value rise while they can’t even afford lunch. “For most expenses I have to depend on myself. My parents can only help so much,” says Desmond Maegley, an Oakland resident. “The reality is people can pay for million dollar homes and five miles away people can’t afford to survive.” This may have to do with red lining or gentrification. Also, the rise of technology is slowly making people obsolete in the workforce.

David Alcala of Sacramento, Ca.

In the words of David Alcala, a 19 year old Sacramento County native, “Something I think is normal is not so normal.” He is talking about life in a city where you see more than three fast food joints for every grocery store. David doesn’t have a grocery store in his neighborhood, but rather two gas stations, a Chinese restaurants, and coming soon, a Walmart. He says cheap, convenient fast food is often a default choice for people in his area because there are so few options for busy families. “I can see it with my nephew when he gets McDonalds. He’s two years old. He knows what it is, he loves it. And when he finishes his soda he gets mad.”

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