Oakland Knows Of Other Illegal Warehouses After Ghost Ship Fire But Where’s Plan To Help?

Oakland Knows Of Other Illegal Warehouses After Ghost Ship Fire But Where’s Plan To Help?

The tragic Oakland Ghost Ship Fire that took 36 lives on December 2nd of 2016 remains a bad memory in part because the City of Oakland taken little action in making sure such an event doesn’t happen again.

This blogger contacted Oakland Assistant City Administrator Greg Minor on September 14th 2017, and this was his response to my question:

Hi Mr. Abraham,
The special event permit redesign survey did not include a question regarding the specific venue(s) associated with the survey respondents in order to protect the anonymity of the survey respondents, many of whom have expressed concern about either being displaced from their place of residence/assembly or having the venue shut down. In turn, this anonymity should maximize the amount of information the City receives from those currently holding unpermitted events.
In terms of the task force composition, it only includes staff members but has and will benefit from the expertise of those involved in the entertainment community. For example, the task force conducted a listening session with a focus group of event holders earlier this year, met with the sf entertainment commission director, is currently reaching out to the public via the survey, and will circle back with the entertainment community as it moves forward with implementing the suggestions put forth by the public.
Best,
Greg

What stood out to me was this part of the email: “The special event permit redesign survey did not include a question regarding the specific venue(s) associated with the survey respondents in order to protect the anonymity of the survey respondents, many of whom have expressed concern about either being displaced from their place of residence/assembly or having the venue shut down.’

Wow. That means the City of Oakland does know the location and owners of other warehouses that may be serving as homes for Oaklanders that are out of complaince with City of Oakland Codes, and yet has not announced a program to help them.

What the City of Oakland has done is create the “Special Event Permit Survey Design Task Force” which consists of “Greg Minor and Nancy Marcus in the City’s Administrator’s Office, Kelley Kahn in the Mayor’s Office, Jim MacIlvaine in the Cultural Affairs Office, Sgt. Andy McNeil in the Oakland Police Department, Assistant Fire Marshall Cesar Avila in the Oakland Fire Department, Tim Low in Building Services and Aubrey Rose in the Planning Department, (and) has identified several barriers that discourage compliance, as well as strategies to combat these obstacles.” – according to its website.

I discussed in more detail what it does in my first post on this, but the issue of what the City of Oakland is doing to help owners brings their buildings up to code (which includes a line-item budget expenditure that does not currently exist), has not been answered.

I sent Mr. Minor this email to follow up:

Greetings Mr. Minor,
I am following up on my initial email, as I did vlog about the task force.  Is there a timetable for the completion of the task of the survey?  What about the formation of policy based on that?  Also, have you considered a program of code enforcement assistance with those venues you know of that are ‘out of compliance’ with regulations?
Thank you,
Zennie Abraham

To date, I’ve not received any response to it.

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