Hard-hitting New Documentary Explores the Informal Economy

3 min readApr 18, 2019

By Saabir Locket & Jahmese Myres, EBASE

We teach our children that they can be whoever and whatever they want to be if they set their minds to it. That the American dream will be ours if we work hard, get an education, hustle, and innovate. But when we wake up from dreaming, we realize that not all work is created equal.

For many workers — most of whom are people of color and immigrants — this dream of prosperity doesn’t pan out. Deeply embedded American history, amplified over the last three decades, has produced a two-tiered economic system in which different types of work are treated differently: some work rewarded with stability and wealth; other work criminalized and exploited.

Join us on April 22nd at the Grand Lake Theatre for a screening and discussion of the film, City Rising: Informal Economy!

Watch the powerful new documentary City Rising: Informal Eocnomy!

In a Trump economy, this two-tiered labor system is even worse — favoring big corporations, real estate investment, and the 1% at the expense of working-class people of color, who are increasingly excluded from basic worker protections like minimum wage, health care, and safety on the job.

City Rising: Informal Economy highlights stories from the urban neighborhoods and industrial corridors of Oakland, Long Beach and the Coachella Valley, featuring incredible organizing by domestic workers, street vendors, truck drivers, immigrants and formerly incarcerated workers who are fighting for the dignity of their work.

EBASE’s Special Projects Coordinator, Saabir Lockett, and Deputy Director, Jahmese Myres, share the story of Oakland and the incredible organizing to win job access for formerly incarcerated community members.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring organizers in the fight for economic justice for all.

RSVP here to join us for City Rising: Informal Economy!

What: City Rising: Informal Economy Film Screening

When: April 22nd, 7pm

Where: Grand Lake Theatre, 3200 Grand Ave, Oakland 94610

RSVP required for entry

Opening Remarks by District 2 Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas

Panel discussion featuring:

  • Daniel Mendoza, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ)
  • Sylvia Lopez (and interpreter Lourdes Martinez), Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA)
  • Derek Schoonmaker, Centro Legal de la Raza
  • Moderated by Jahmese Myres, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE)

Saabir Lockett is special projects coordinator for EBASE, where he coordinates community outreach, voter contact programs, data analysis, and program development.

Jahmese Myres is Deputy Director for EBASE and oversees EBASE’s policy campaigns.

The East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE) advances economic, racial, and social justice by building a just economy in the East Bay based on good jobs and healthy communities. We address the root causes of economic injustice by developing strategic alliances among community, labor, and people of faith to build power and create change with low-income workers and communities of color. www.workingeastbay.org




East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy - building community and worker power in the East Bay