The City Can Be the OakLAND of Golden Opportunities

by Bobby Reyes

Sunrise over Lake Meritt n Oakland, California | Photo by Derick Daily on Unsplash

Part XXXVII of the “Back-to-Basics Governance” Series

The City of Oakland can become America’s “Happiest City” in less than a decade. It is ranked No. 13 in a report about a February 2023 list produced by WalletHub that ranked the “happy (and happiest) cities” in America. Researchers analyzed 30 happiness-related data metrics based on emotional and physical well-being categories. The report also draws on the psychological research findings that indicate a correlation between happiness and where people live. More on this report in a coming part of this mini-series of the present series, which may result at the end of homelessness and other social cancers.

Yes, to be classified as “America’s Happiest City,” Oakland must also become first a city, or a land (pun intended), of golden opportunities because the income and economic opportunities of the city and her people are part of the metrics required in the ranking of cities.

But first things first. It is suggested respectfully that the public-and-private sectors of the City of Oakland must not permit the Holy Names University (HNU) to fold up and close. Some critics may have a point in arguing that public funds cannot finance a Catholic university because of the doctrine of separation between church and state. But please read this article entitled, “Televangelists take a slice as churches accept billions in US coronavirus aid.”

But public funds may not be in the form of a dole out but in investments. This column called the investment of the pension fund of the State of Florida in Russian companies not only dumb (as the investment resulted in millions of losses for Floridian public workers) but also unpatriotic given the invasion by the Russian Federation of Ukraine, which is an ally informally of the United States (as Ukraine has not yet formally joined the NATO).

This column suggests respectfully that perhaps it may be a wise move to retain the 155-year-old name of the HNU but then “HOLY NAMES” can become acronyms. The acronyms can mean: “Helping Others Learn the Youth’s Next-level Academic Missions, Empowerment and Successes.” Perhaps the suggested acronyms can denote and stress that the revival of the university is a secular community undertaking and not a Lazarus-type of resurrection.

To the limited knowledge of this columnist, the HNU can become the country’s first “co-op institution of learning.” And be owned by co-op members in the persons of the members of the faculty, the students, alumni (and their respective families) and citizens and residents (including juridical persons or corporations), and even public entities of the City of Oakland and/or the County of Alameda. It is respectfully suggested further that the citizens of the City of Oakland, and even the voters of Alameda County, approve the turning of private schools, colleges, and universities into cooperatives in a referendum.

The government is supposed to be for the people, by the people, and of the people. Why can socioeconomic empowerment not be the same back-to-basics undertaking of, by and for, the people, specifically for the consumers, patients, First Responders, and stakeholders?

It is suggested further that a revived HNU start an academic program leading to a degree and/or master’s in “Cooperative Economics.” This journalist has been campaigning as a media activist in replacing “Crony Capitalism” with “Cooperative Capitalism” and turning even labor unions into “labor co-ops,” financial institutions into “credit unions,” and even health-maintenance organizations (HMO) into HMCo-op. Citizens, especially senior-citizen patients, can rely on the co-op as their Medicare or MediCal and, ultimately, as a “Medicare for All” benefit provider.

The government is supposed to be for the people, by the people, and of the people. Why can socioeconomic empowerment not be the same back-to-basics undertaking of, by and for, the people, specifically for the consumers, patients, First Responders, and stakeholders? Because the problem with capitalism (as we know it) is that ordinary folks lack the capital to compete with the giants of Corporate America and their billionaire-controlling owners.

Due to space limitations, this column will break down other back-to-basics “talking points” into installments. Part 38 will feature “The Moses-like Leaders of the PROMISED (Oak)LAND” this Wednesday. And for next Sunday, Part 39 will dwell on how the City of Oakland will compete with the “Sin City of Las Vegas” by billing itself the “SCENE City” of the United States. Again, SCENE will be presented and suggested as another acronym that can be one of its rallying slogans, if not a battle cry.

Part 40 will discuss more the discussions started by this columnist about the coming worldwide shortage of 13 million nurses by 2030. And how the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda nursing and medical schools can provide the education for at least 7 million needed Board-certified nurses by 2029.

By the way, if some readers have not realized, the HNU has not only a College of Nursing but also departments in other fields of medicine, such as Biological Science, Healthcare, Kinesiology, Psychology (including Counseling, Forensic, and Performance Psychology), as well other related fields. Almost all of the nursing and medical course graduates of Oakland and Alameda County will become local stakeholders (and taxpayers). Why? Because their respective alma mater and investments in them would be located in this city and/or Alameda County, not necessarily in the other state or even foreign nations where their medical-industry employers are based.

Because the bottom line is assuring that Oakland becomes not only the happiest but also the healthiest city in the United States — if not in the entire North American continent. And the success of Oakland will also benefit Alameda County, the state of California, the United States, and the world at large, living in an age of continuing pandemics and social cancers.

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