Letter from Oakland Attorney Steven Rood
in Support of Revcom.us:

“We must reach deep into our imaginations and our humanitas

| revcom.us


This letter concerns the extraordinary, hidden, and dire conditions for Black and Brown residents of East Oakland—a community that has been covered from the view of the rest of the city, the county, the state, the nation. My son is a public high school teacher in that community, and, since I’m a lawyer, I have been helping his students with their almost unbelievable legal problems. My son teaches English to newly arrived immigrants from Central America and Mexico. Many are homeless, many suffered the deaths of parents and siblings, all of them are terrified and traumatized by their grotesque lives in their home countries, by their equally grotesque journeys North, by the asylum process here, by threats of ICE, by predatory employers and landlords, by the horrors of life on the streets, by police as an ever-lurking threat to life and peace. These LatinX kids speak almost no English on arrival, and many do not even speak Spanish: they come from indigenous peoples. My son and his colleagues have—since the Covid crisis—been acting more as emergency social workers and less as teachers. Can a homeless kid get wi-fi and a computer? Where will she sleep? Can a child with a dental emergency find treatment at Highland Hospital? Can a landlord be negotiated with over rent? Can the school give a student money to pay a ransom for his father, kidnapped in Honduras? Can an employer who engages in wage theft be forced to pay? The problems and challenges are endless and require of us endless responsibility. We must reach deep into our imaginations and our humanitas to regard these human beings—our neighbors—with respect and care. And, since there are few voices and programs in our midst that have been confronting these issues with intelligence and heart, it seems deeply important to me to support—financially and in other ways—the work of Revcom.us.

Steven Rood,

Attorney, Oakland, CA

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