'Save Our Chinatowns' supports Oakland businesses during COVID-19

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Settled in the 1850s, Oakland's Chinatown has always been a special part of the surrounding community.

"I love the energy, engaging all the senses," shares "Save Our Chinatowns" volunteer Daphne Wu. "This space has been such an important space for Asian Americans."

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Chinatown saw a dramatic downturn. "People were reluctant to come out, reluctant to support the businesses," Wu explains.

"We lost all our restaurant customers," Green Fish Seafood Market owner Finnie Phung adds. "It was very stressful." As a result, Oakland artist Jocelyn Tsaih, founded "Save Our Chinatowns," an initiative to help support Oakland Chinatown businesses.

Tsaih's team created a zine, a DIY, small circulating, self-published magazine to help connect people with Chinatown businesses. "We loved the idea of putting together a zine, like a love letter to Oakland Chinatown," Wu reveals. "It's actually a recipe zine that focuses on three businesses in Chinatown."

Phung's Green Fish Seafood Market, one of the three business, contributed a hot pot recipe, which involves a cooking method that prepares various ingredients in a simmering pot of soup stock. According to Wu, the initiative is finding success as the zine sold out within an hour.

"It's really rewarding to see all the community organizations come together, raise awareness, start campaigns and bring people together," Wu shares. For more information, visit here.