We’ve all seen the headlines about an uptick in burglaries and robberies in Oakland CA. It is my strong feeling this is really due to an atmosphere of “the haves and the have-nots” that have been bumping up on one another for way too long. The huge income disparity here causes fear, envy, greed and resentment – along with a host of other ugly feelings – on both ends of the equation.
We can all say “creating jobs” is the answer, but that is one of the most complicated things to do. Honestly, who goes into business with THAT goal? Besides, unless these gangs of “bad kids running the streets” go get Engineering Degrees real quick, it probably ain’t gonna be the kind of job that pays a living wage. My husband and I ran into this dilemma not too long ago, because we have not had good full-time steady jobs in years (more on that later). Our solution, among many small decisions, was to take advantage of the “Smartphone/Sharing Culture”. We use ours for Airbnb, TaskRabbit and a host of other self-empowering apps that have allowed us to generate enough income to stay here in the City we love so much. So, as you may have guessed, my plan is simple – free smartphones for low income residents of Oakland, CA. Not government cell phone plans like ReachOut or Assurance. Those do not include the robust data plans that you need to make a living off your mobile device. And, you have to declare yourself “low income” which is demeaning, tstl. They should be given, no questions asked, by anyone who is not gainfully employed/able to generate a legitimate income, and would like to change that fact.
This means we’ll need a two-step plan, one that supplies the free devices and the bandwidth. Personally, I enjoy unlimited wifi through my provider, Sonic.net of San Rafael, California. But, there are so many times I don’t use it. What if I could share that by simply telling people where they could roll up and log on? (Yes, security would be an issue, but isn’t it always?!).
So, there you have it. The grand, simple idea. We simply give away last years smart phone when we upgrade, and start sharing our wifi while we’re away from home/office. Do you see how we could move mountains here in Oakland, CA this way? And, we’d be leaving those in the hills to live without fear of being held-up by at gunpoint by someone who loves the City just as much as they do, but just doesn’t have a way to get by?!