Gladys Green has made her mark on the community of Oakland many times over – as a neighborhood activist, a business leader, a champion of low-income and underserved residents, and as a driving force in successful efforts to curb gun violence.
Green says her community activism has always been driven by a desire to help others achieve their dreams. Later this month, she will receive a small gesture of thanks when she is inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame for her devotion to the community she has called home for nearly 70 years.
“Even though I was working 40 hours a week and raising four children, I still got involved,’’ says Green, whose day job for 34 years was working in the meat department of the Lucky’s grocery store in Alameda’s Marina Village. “I made the time because it was important to me to work for the betterment of this community.’’
Mrs. Green will be one of 12 local women honored at this year’s Women’s Hall of Fame awards ceremony on Saturday, March 21, at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 4700 Lincoln Avenue in Oakland.
For information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities, go to whof.acgov.org.
Now 91 and going strong, Green is Board Chair of the Alameda County–Oakland Community Action Partnership, which works to eliminate poverty and blunt its impacts. She also continues to organize monthly food giveaways and a holiday toy drive for families and children at St. Benedict’s Church.
On top of it all, she remains a major player in Oakland’s business community. She is Vice Chair of the Board of Oakland Business Development Corporation and had a hand in launching two successful restaurants, Pican and Bakesale Betty.
Mrs. Green is a native of New Orleans who moved to Oakland in 1946, after her husband had completed his military service in World War II.
Of all her accomplishments, she says she is most proud of her work in the late 1990s to curb gun violence. She worked with then-State Sen. Don Perata and other leaders on legislation that broadened restrictions on assault weapons, and was closely involved in Oakland Unified School District programs seeking to remove guns from school campuses.