$2 billion slips away from Oakland businesses every year
At a young age, Ari ran the census numbers. She saw the game was set against her. Growing up in affordable housing, seeing skeptical faces when she shared her vision of the future, she thought, “There’s no going down. I can only go up from here.” Ari Takata-Vasquez, founder of Viscera, entrepreneur, and muralist, shows us how $2 billion in retail leakage leaves Oakland every year. It goes across the Bay to SF, big box retail in Emeryville, and into Bezos’ back pocket. But knowing that fact, she showed us how change is possible, how that money can—deservedly—stay in Oakland and contribute to what makes our city great. By taking risks and investing in ourselves and our communities, there is a path to keeping our dollars local.