Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mandela Foods: Urban Art Gallery?

Regular readers of East Bay Conservative will know how absolutely absurd I find the Mandela Foods Cooperative anti-poverty experiment and its main supporter, City Council member Nancy Nadel. I recently dropped by the site for an update on its status. It would appear its mission has shifted somewhat.

During the runup to the election, Nadel said that the coop just needed more time to get off the ground.That claim is becoming increasingly unbelievable. And, with Nadel's recent reelection, we can all await the coop's inevitable demand for more money.

In any event, the following are two pictures snapped Monday, June 9. The first shows some excellent urban art spraypainted on the coop's window. This is what is so nice about failed urban-renewal projects: the business failure is just the beginning of the show. Now come the taggers, and next we can probably expect to see a drug dealer set up shop in the back.


Speak of the devil. This second picture seems to indicate that they are building a small hiding place in the back of the coop's space. Is this where they'll hide the weed? Only time will tell. For now, the space continues to sit vacant, costing the city economically and in quality of life.



  1. Mandela Foods' website says it is waiting for permits. Where can the average citizen go to find these permit applications?

    How long do the permits usually take to get approval?

    Mandela Foods' website also states that it has the hardware; refrigerators, etc. Where is this stuff being store? Since Mandela Foods received $300K of public money, aren't these issues supposed to be transparent?

    I want to know!

  2. A resident of West OaklandDecember 11, 2008 at 8:15 AM

    "a small hiding place"? It's space for a bathroom with some supplies sitting in it. You say there's 300k just sitting around, but where do you get your info? Nadel put in 100k, but the other 200k isn't even in MMP's hands, It goes directly from CEDA to the contractors. You complain about the lack of updates, you complain about the fact that it's still not open, but If you had to rely on the City of Oakland to help you open a community-owned grocery store in an area that has not had a real grocery store for over a year, and has not had a grocery store that was actually tailored to the people who live there for god knows how long (if ever)...if you were in that position, what do you expect you would do? I mean come on, there's construction going on in there, something is actually happening, something I've been hoping for since I moved to this often forgotten part of Oakland. I rather have MMP at least try, then just watch the City throw money at something that I never even see. Whatever, you talk about this place as if the only thing we do here is "hid weed".