Councilmember Larry Reid’s East Oakland district has long been riddled with violence and the longest-tenured council member routinely describes it as the “killing fields.” During a special City Council retreat Thursday afternoon, Reid said even he’s afraid to walk the streets of East Oakland.
Reid said he doesn’t walk his dogs in Oakland, but instead, heads to San Leandro. “That’s where I go because that’s where I feel safe,” he said. Afterwards he sheepishly added, “Maybe I shouldn’t say that.”
Reid lives on the Oakland-San Leandro border and has served on the City Council for 18 years.
In recent weeks, Reid’s comments have been noticeably colored with a bit of melancholy. Last week, outside of Oakland City Hall, Reid said the recent shooting death of a young black man in his district heightened his frustration over continuing gun violence in Oakland.
During deliberations over the Coliseum Area Specific Plan, on numerous occasions, Reid registered strong opposition to the additional of affordable housing at the proposed Coliseum City. He has long maintained his District 7 receives a disproportionate number of affordable housing units. Thursday’s comments appear in line with Reid’s recent rhetoric.
In addition to his comments on street safety, Reid said most of the streets in his district are laden with speed bumps and homes with barred windows. The reason why? Some people in his district don’t “value life,” he said.