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Alondra De La Cruz

More energy for the people: new options for solar, community choice energy

The lack of modern energy services, also referred to as energy poverty, is an ongoing issue in the Bay Area. But many organizations are working hard to make new energy options available to households. In Richmond, in the Iron Triangle neighborhood, many low-income families now have access to solar panels thanks to Oakland non-profit GRID Alternatives. Starting in June, Alameda County will launch their very own community choice energy agency, East Bay Community Energy, in hopes of providing county residents with…

For East Bay immigrants, notary fraud is a common legal threat

In 1996, an undocumented young man in the Easy Bay was tired of being paid under the table for his work, so he decided to do something about his legal status. Two friends recommended him to a notario—or notary—who had helped them obtain work permits. The man trusted his friends blindly, so on the advice of the notario, he filled out and signed some documents and was told that a work permit would be mailed to his home. The man…

Alem’s Coffee in Oakland

In the corner of Vicente Way and Claremont in Oakland lies what is a hidden treasure to many, but to others, a jewel in plain sight: Alem’s Coffee, which serves Eritrean food and is a gathering spot for the East African community. As you enter the strategically-placed corner coffee shop, the scent of coffee hits you in the face, then the scent of different spices punches you in the stomach. The sun shines brightly into the seating area through the…

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