Oakland small business owners prepare to strike Tuesday over rampant crime: 'We are all dying'

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
More than 200 Oakland small business owners prepare to strike Tuesday
More than 200 Oakland small business owners are preparing to strike Tuesday by shutting down for a portion of the day over increase in crime.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Dozens of Oakland small business owners are poised to strike planning to shut down for a portion of the day Tuesday.

They are fed up with feeling as though the city is not protecting them from the rising tide of crime.

Restaurateur Ryan Dixon got emotional about the crime happening in Oakland now and how it's threatening the small business ecosystem that makes Oakland what it is.

"We are all dying figuratively and literally. The business community has just gotten to the breaking point where everyday someone is having to choose to close their doors because they can no longer stay in business," said Dixon, who is a managing partner of Calavera, a restaurant on Broadway.

"Whether they're getting broken into repeatedly, whether their staff is being held up or assaulted, shootings in front of our businesses. People are afraid to come to downtown Oakland right now," he said.

RELATED: Store owners to strike Tuesday to protest crime: 'Oakland is beautiful. We have to keep it safe.'

So dozens of small businesses including restaurants, convenience stores, clothing stores and doctors offices- are staging a strike on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon to draw attention to their desperation.

They say they've gotten no response to a list of actionable items they've asked the City of Oakland for such as safe parking lots with attendants to deter car break-ins.

"You don't need to strike to get the city's attention," said Oakland Mayor Sheng Tao.

MORE: Oakland's new resolution aims to grow and retain police staffing, increase video surveillance

Oakland City Council passed a new resolution aiming to grow and retain police department staffing and increase video surveillance.

The mayor says they're working on it with 300 surveillance cameras to be installed by November and more assistance from the California Highway Patrol. Business owners say they're tired of all the talk- they need immediate action.

"Our businesses are on the brink of closure because of safety. We've been broken into six times in the last year. We've met with city and council officials and their answer has been to hire private security," said Elke Tatad, Todos Cantina managing partner.

MORE: Thieves in SUV hook chain to Oakland store gate, drive away to yank it open

"If we leave, there's nothing left. And we're all ready to leave," Dixon said.

The strike is a final unified cry for help.

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