What Nevada County can learn from Oakland

1388968025918CABPRO founder Todd Juvinal’s “blog” — AKA a mudpit for the hard-right political extremists and their nasty anonymous friends — likes to mock the Bay Area (or the “wacky liberal Bay Area,” as an anonymous commenter put it this week). Hard-right political activist Barry Pruett, who ran for clerk recorder and lost in every precinct, mocked “San Francisco values” during his campaign. Pruett also regularly comments there.

But in the real world — which is the vast majority of moderate, fun-loving people in our community — the Bay Area is a big draw: for the attractions, sightseeing, art & culture. And this includes much-maligned Oakland.

Oakland is a draw for visits, but also for jobs. In fact, we are losing some of Nevada County’s brightest young people to Oakland — and we ought to be worrying about the “why’s” behind that.

The latest is one of The Union’s reporters. In a nutshell, the job opportunities are better, diversity is embraced and it is vibrant.

“I love Oakland,” one young Nevada County-to-Oakland transplant said on Facebook, joking, “My redneck streak runs deep. I’ll do you proud, even in Oakland.”

I happen to like Oakland, too — and Nevada County — but a recent, outstanding book about Oakland has fascinated me from a marketing perspective. Our community can learn from it. You need to check it out.

It is called “This is Oakland” by Melissa Davies. “She and photographer Kristen Loken illustrate the images and stories that show why it’s become the destination for ‘what’s next’ among the Bay Area’s creative types,” as the San Francisco Chronicle wrote. It was published through a “Kickstarter” campaign — just like Reinette Senum’s documentary of crossing Alaska is going to be.

Piazzaiolo: http://www.pizzaiolooakland.com
Piazzaiolo: http://www.pizzaiolooakland.com

Oakland’s creative thought and pioneering spirit

“This book is of course for anyone who lives in or is visiting Oakland or the San Francisco Bay Area and wants to know where to go for food, drink, shopping or just plain fun. Perhaps more importantly, though, this book is for anyone, across the country, who is inspired by creative thought and the pioneering spirit.

“Oakland’s restaurants are trend-setting, and its shops are getting national attention. People who want to know what’s next are looking to Oakland. We’re offering them a glimpse inside.”

We could write a book like this to market our area — AKA “The State of Jefferson.” We also have a pioneering spirit, and great food, drink, shopping, activities, arts & culture and just plain fun.

One example: The new Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co. in Nevada City is redolent of Piazzaiolo in Oakland — and, in fact, it was an inspiration.

Our regions have much to learn from each other. We also need to work harder to keep our young people in our community, but that’s going to require some fresh ideas.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

12 thoughts on “What Nevada County can learn from Oakland”

  1. Here’s some more good news about Oakland. The old boarded-up Sears building is being renovated: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Old-Sears-building-in-Oakland-will-get-huge-5907422.php

    “In recent weeks, several high-profile firms have relocated or expanded from San Francisco to Oakland, including Gensler, one of the world’s largest architecture firms, and the advertising firm EVB, which is moving into the old Woolworth’s building across from the Fox Theater. Gensler moved into a building on Webster Street shared by Pandora.”

  2. Here’s a good example of the prejudiced, myopic and stereotype mindset that has held back our community for so long from the “old-timers.” It is from Russ Steele, a longtime hard-right political activist, global warming denier, etc. (who actually sat on the county Transportation Commission): http://sierrafoothillcommentary.com/2014/12/20/local-lefty-blogger-wants-local-to-learn-from-oakland/

    Russ’ blog post includes a comment: “The lesson for locals. If you have to go to Oakland be sure you have your CCW current and do not leave you gun at home.”

    What this blog post of mine talks about is marketing the attributes of a region in a well-written and well-illustrated book called “This is Oakland.” It also notes that some of our brighter young people are leaving for better jobs elsewhere, including in Oakland. But even that is a threat to the “good old boys,” “State of Jefferson” proponents and right wing nuts.

    Thankfully, our community is changing — albeit too slowly to reverse some destructive economic trends that continue to haunt us. The Union newspaper catered to the aging, declining demographic for so long that it now has to “outsource” the printing of our community newspaper in Sacramento as a cost-cutting move.

    The threat to our community is not gentrification — it is whether we are going to continue losing economic ground to other regions that are prospering at our expense. How long do we intend to suffer?

  3. Meanwhile, Todd’s blog continues to exercise hate for Free Speech. In a way, it’s productive to coral all these folks in one place, so the rest of us can go on with “democratization” of a small town.” BTW, what happened to Steve Enos? He used to be a local “gadfly”? LOL.

  4. Todd’s blog continues to be polluted with the musings of “fish,” (AKA David Larsen of Carmichael). David doesn’t live or work in our community, and I continue to wonder if he’s a paid political blogger. Or he just doesn’t have much going on in his life. Either way, it’s good to what you’re dealing with. Happy to have “outed” “fish.” Posting his musings only makes Todd’s blog look more ridiculous.

  5. The fact is Nevada County needs to lure jobs and good paying ones at that. It seems that most people are putting the cart before the horse and wanting to build some extravagant resort or turn Nevada City back to the woods to lure the “bay area dollar” such in this ridiculous article by the Nevada County Scooper: http://www.ncscooper.com/nevada-city-considers-allowing-select-neighborhoods-to-go-fallow/. Nevada City needs business to gain revenue, We need to retain events such as sanctioned bike races and such to lure the crowds. We have the ability and the area to create a competitive Mt. Bike course ect. Heck the bed and breakfast industry can barely keep its head above water here. All the swanky, trendy shops and restaurants are nice…if you can afford them. All the retirees moving into the area quickly realize that their retirement dollars don’t hold up well shopping local (thus the success of rite-aide, CVS, Kmart and the soon to be Dollar General.) Nevada City lives for the weekend tourist dollar, most locals would shop there but they just cant afford it on the wages paid in the county…ahhh the price of living in paradise.

    1. Dollar General just opened in GV (end of town near Nevada City), and I cannot for the mind of me know why the electeds would approve the (what, third or fourth dollar type discount stores)? And why they get elected. Heck, bet they approve one for the Dorsey exit before you know it. Promoting Nevada County (western part) as the alternate, less crowded route to the SNOW and shopping that caters to those snowbird types, food, supplies, etc.

  6. Good idea to write a book about this county, but please don’t call it “State of Jefferson.” (Hopefully, that was just kidding.) They really should be calling it “State of Jefferson Davis since I don’t know what the movement has to do with Thomas.

  7. And sure enough, Barry Pruett weighs in as expected — missing the point all together because of prejudice, stereotyping and myopic thinking (just like Russ). I ought to get him the book “This is Oakland” for Christmas, and he might learn something:
    “Barry Pruett
    12/20/2014 at 12:36 PM
    Ummm…we moved to Nevada County because it is not Oakland. If Pelline wants to make Nevada County like Oakland, I think it would be easier to just move to Oakland.”

  8. The right’s SF values argument intrigues me. The right never says what those are and why they are bad. They use the Reagan strategy to say something in a way that implies bad. It works on ignorant people for sure. San Francisco is a stellar example of free market capitalism and social responsibility and sustainability, community planning and advancement of the arts. California was made because of San Francisco. There are several books and documentaries on the history and contributions of San Francisco. Grass Valley Nevada City wouldn’t be what they are without influences through and from San Francisco.
    If Nevada County took a census on where folks came from they’d be surprised how often San Francisco and the Bay Area will come up.
    My grandparents left Chicago and settled in San Francisco. Grandpa was the manager at Bernstein’s Fish Grotto and Grandma settled the family in Santa Rosa where she bought land at Todd and Stony Point Rd and ran a chicken ranch and took in boarders. Their generation built the Golden Gate Bridge, grew marijuana in the garden with the tomatoes, and brought in the 20th century! OPPPS. That’s why the right hates SF so much. They prefer fantasies of the Dark Ages.

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