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In Oakland, voters hope to make change

Alastair Boone
The main branch of the Oakland Public Library acts as a polling place on March 5, 2024.

The majority of the voters who spoke to KALW in Oakland were concerned about the upcoming presidential election. Many wanted to send a message to the Biden administration, in particular.

“I always vote, but I wanted to specifically not cast a vote for Joe Biden today. So, I think what he’s doing is wrong, and I think we need to face reality about it," said David, who lives in Oakland.

Daniel, who is an East Bay resident, had this to say about why they came out to vote.

“The genocide in Palestine. And I’m supporting Brother West.” 

That’s Professor Cornel West, of Columbia University.

Voters, like David, said they were also driven to the polls by local issues, such as crumbling public infrastructure.

“Look around, look at the library, we’re right next to it. Is this what our library should look like? I don’t think so.”

Jill, who lives in the East Bay, had this to say.

“It starts locally, and it grows from there.”

Despite early indicators that voter turnout will be low this year, Oakland voters like Igor say that the right to vote is critical to making change, both locally and globally.

“I think in a democracy, that’s what we can do. The way we change things is by voting."

Alastair Boone is the Director of Street Spirit newspaper, and a member of KALW's 2024 Audio Academy.