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Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

Hey Carlos Jamal - I was one of the original inhabitants at Lobot and nobody was displaced when we moved in. It was formerly a business and the guys who built the living spaces created a place where 15 - 20 people lived. And in my situation I freed up a low rent room for someone else to occupy.

Posted by bigfrog on 12/07/2016 at 8:11 AM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

Yes! If there is one thing this fire has taught me, it's that this community is so close. Most people I know around town, at cafes, bars, etc., know someone who lost someone, or lost someone directly. To me, threatening to evict those who live in places like the Ghost Ship is to remove Oakland's artists, and whitewash its character. Artists need funding, this country needs to value its artists be proud of them and give them dignity, and instill a value of caring for its buildings. Many many houses here have old electric wiring. If people care about fires so much, why isn't there a program to support safety measures in all of its old houses and having it changed out?

Posted by Cynthia Salaysay on 12/07/2016 at 7:59 AM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

The housing crisis is a travesty, as was this horrific fire.

Unfortunately, your way of life, of living in a poverty of choice to create art, appears to no longer be sustainable in this area of the world. You were not the first people to live in Oakland, nor would you be the first people displaced. Likely, you displaced someone when you arrived.

You are in charge of your own life. You are at no one's mercy. Your problems and issues have arisen because of the lifestyle choices you have made. You should come to terms with that.

To retrofit buildings for fire safety, you need fire marshals. You need money. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Posted by Carlos Jamal on 12/07/2016 at 6:34 AM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

What if you didn't go to art school?? That's some cold hard snobbery right there. That's called victim blaming and that is the most disrespectful way to talk about the deceased. What's selfish about what Lobot said?? They are trying to protect spaces like their own from being shut down as opposed to being made safe. Making more places where more people can feel at home so we don't all have to be privelived little pricks like you and can just be ourselves. Not every boot comes with a damn strap so try some new shoes on and figure that out smarty pants. What do you mean by don't "expect" to be taken care of by you city? Is a city not supposed to be concerned with the safety and well being of its citizens? Or are you saying don't expect it cause they obviously only give a fuck about their money... Cause yeah that's why we DON'T expect it. But that doesn't mean we don't deserve it. And if you think that's selfish, you're only looking in a mirror. You don't deserve your safety any more than anyone else, you just have more access, because you have privelive, cause the boots your daddy gave you came with straps you near sighted ditz. Just remember your diploma will be the first thing that burns when you get to the gates.

Posted by Morgan True on 12/07/2016 at 3:48 AM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

Editor: The comment made by Tove is horrifically offensive and inappropriate in the wake of this tragedy.

Posted by chichichills on 12/07/2016 at 12:59 AM

Re: “If Oakland Cracks Down On Underground Warehouses, It Will Snuff Out The City’s DIY Soul

Safety is obviously the most important issue. All venues must be safe, as I would have hoped everyone has learned from this awful tragedy.

Beyond that, we don't need bureaucratic interference with our artistic events. But we cannot do without safety.

Posted by Dan Asimov on 12/06/2016 at 10:58 PM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

Tove you are out of order and have the wrong end of the stick so to speak. I can only assume you are a middle aged white man or woman and are out of touch with other people's life experience and or position in life.

Posted by J Rashad Banks on 12/06/2016 at 9:07 PM

Re: “If Oakland Cracks Down On Underground Warehouses, It Will Snuff Out The City’s DIY Soul

A crack down is needed. Landlords rent to people and the people then break the lease by doing illegal activities. Often jimmy rigging electrical or plumbing to accommodate more people.The Ghost Ship better wake people up at City Hall.

Posted by Garry Ovalbach on 12/06/2016 at 8:34 PM

Re: “If Oakland Cracks Down On Underground Warehouses, It Will Snuff Out The City’s DIY Soul

No one should die for the sake of art. Art does not get murdered when it follows the rules in a gallery. It gets better because if you want it bad enough you will jump through the hoops to get it. The can do spirit of humans has taken harder blows than this and thrived. This jackass Ion needs to be charged with murder. He is a drugged out poser that doesn't care about the lives lost. It's all about him. I bet the criminal in him wants to hide, but the attention whore side has to go for the light. What if you were at the party? Instead of complaining why don't you go out and help the underground be safe. Get a code book, read it and develop a working relationship with a fire marshal. You could do a whole series of articles on what it takes to be safe and why it so important. Or, you can sit safe behind your computer, whine and throw rocks.

Posted by Patrick Farmer on 12/06/2016 at 8:15 PM
Posted by Conan Neutron on 12/06/2016 at 8:14 PM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

Editor: Please remove the comment from Tove. It's very sad, maddening and completely disrespectful to the conversation we're trying to have right now.

Posted by Kelly H williams on 12/06/2016 at 7:50 PM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

Personal anecdotes on the pulling up of bootstraps always seem so relevant to everyone don't they? i think this letter perfectly points out that city fire policies don't even allow people the chance to bring a space up to code without being displaced. This comment just reeks of "i got mine, so who cares about your?" elitism.

Posted by Porch Lyfe on 12/06/2016 at 6:46 PM

Re: “An Open Letter to Our Community, From the Former Residents of the Recently Closed LoBot Gallery in West Oakland

This is, simply put, horrendously selfish and notice that the condolences to those souls lost in the Ghost Ship (an apt name, now) are at the end of the article, when they are what should be at the tip of our tongues, the top of our minds, right now. So sad you can't "create" and "live," yet somehow I've found a way to do it for over 40 years and put safety first in my living environment. You are not "forced into" ANYTHING. And, most certainly, do not expect to be taken care of by the likes of the City of Oakland or this #derekion dude or any other slumlord. These are the situations that cause us to GROW THE HELL UP. Get politically active and stop this self-indulgent sob story unless you are sobbing about someone you lost at 31st and International. If you went to art school, society took care of you in some way, shape or form. Give it back, and not in the form of bad (or even good) art. Give it back in the form of meaningful action on behalf of those 36 souls. It's on you, it's on us. But this selfish whining has got to stop because the one thing it WON'T stop is this housing and public safety crisis, nor will your art.

Posted by Tove Beatty on 12/06/2016 at 6:22 PM

Re: “If Oakland Cracks Down On Underground Warehouses, It Will Snuff Out The City’s DIY Soul

"If Oakland attempts to shut down every party that doesnt have the right permits, even if its for the admirable reason of preventing another Ghost Ship disaster, then it may inadvertently snuff out the beautiful do-it-yourself spirit that animates so much of the citys soul. "

--That is so f-ed up.

Posted by Tove Beatty on 12/06/2016 at 6:14 PM

Re: “Oakland Landlord Evicts Tenant, Then Hangs Pro-Trump Billboard on Building

HA HA - someone was able to deface the t-RUMP sign by throwing paint at it! Now I can smile when I drive by...

Posted by D Silverman on 12/06/2016 at 12:13 PM

Re: “Oakland's Ron Dellums on President Trump: 'Step Forward'

Sorry Dan, your list of Dellums so called "accomplishments" during his term ring a bit hollow. Police reform, really? How many scandals and new Chiefs does it take until the reform part kicks in? Measure Y, what exactly did Dellums have to do with that? The voters approved the measure and Public Works implemented the projects. What exactly was the Mayors contribution?Reduction of crime, I think not. The fact is that during his term (2006-20110) crime across the country was down. I don't think Dellums had much to do with that. Obtaining Federal stimulus grants from his Washington buddies on Capitol Hill was the least he could do. After all, he could do that with phone calls from home. It didn't require showing up for work.

Posted by Gary Patton on 12/06/2016 at 5:50 AM

Re: “Oakland's Ron Dellums on President Trump: 'Step Forward'

Thank you Mayor Dellums for these words. So inspiring. Thank you for all that you have done, continue to do and all of the hope you represent.

Posted by Joycelyn Hughes on 12/06/2016 at 2:46 AM

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Posted by calisto on 12/06/2016 at 2:08 AM

Re: “On Class, Race, Culture and the Anti-Trump Movement

Your opinion piece reads as if it were weighing both sides of the issue, and then decides that we should put our differences aside and move forward together. However, I think this piece is more about you than about any movement of people.

When you, as a rich college educated liberal/progressive white man, quote from four college educated men, two of them white, yet no women or trans people of any race or class, you are showing that you dont pay much attention to your city: you are yourself living in the rarefied white upper class liberal/progressive bay area bubble, within the bay area bubble we all live in.

The bay area, probably more than anywhere, is already at the intersection of race and economic (in)justice and gender. There are so many people experiencing that intersection and struggling in it and organizing around it.

To visit the example you use, "discrimination faced by Hispanic people in the Bay Area is quite different than that experienced by the transgender community." You dont seem to realize that there are many trans Latinix/Chican@ people within the bay area Hispanic and transgender communities. Do you think all trans people are white, and all Latinix/Chican@ are straight and cisgendered? What about Taja DeJesus, killed in SF last year? Which of your binary oppressions did she experience? Poor? Latina? Transgendered?

Thats one person, but if you were in touch with the bay area I live in you would know that intersectionality obviously includes economic justice for all.

"A deep fear exists among those [white people] who are being left behind economically. If the left dismisses their suffering, they're going to flee just like how once Barack Obama voters abandoned Clinton"

POC and white working class voters alike didnt turn out enthusiastically for Clinton. If you have a economically elitist neo-liberal candidate who gives lip service to POC while supporting horrifying deportation policies and war against POC in the middle east do you think many from the identity politics world OR the economy-concerned white working class would be enthusiastic about her?

"Helpfully, most debaters agree that it is risky to emphasize the distinctions in the 99 Percent. When we make differences primary, people without power are not going to progress, and the dominance of the One Percent will persevere. The only way forward is through a solidarity of the non-elite. It must be a solidarity for a common good, not of "my identity against yours." "

Actually, when you promote utopian, color blind all of us together against the real enemy of the 1% ideas, you make it harder for white people to do the work of acknowledging the systematic racism and white privilege that comes from founding a country on genocide and slavery and that must be addressed before there can be justice, economic or otherwise for anyone.

Im guessing that you may have formed some of your ideas about race during the 80s or 90s when color blindness was in vogue. Thats not where we are anymore. Acknowledging differences is productive and necessary, and choosing to work together across those differences is harder but more effective than pretending they pale in comparison to the difference between us and the 1%. *

Im a 33 year old white man who works a minimum wage job.

I dont have a high school diploma and I didnt go to college. If I can figure out what intersectionality is, you can too.

* I have a feeling that as an owner of a newspaper, a businessman and a lawyer, you are a member of the 1% yourself. Feel free to leave this part out if you print this. But keep in mind that you might not want to be speaking on behalf of the 99%

Posted by Steve Schmidt on 12/05/2016 at 4:14 PM

Re: “Oakland Landlord Evicts Tenant, Then Hangs Pro-Trump Billboard on Building

Greg Broderick .... excellent post and right on target!

If you've lived in the unit for 21 years at a low rent threshold, would you have not saved up enough money to purchase a small home/condo for yourself? Although I feel for the tenant, he has no right to live in that unit indefinitely.

City of Oakland Rent Control Just Cause Measure EE needs to be revamped. An example is that it is helping keep the wealthy remain in (low) rent controlled apartments, while affording them the ability to become landlords themselves. I have seen liberal judges rule against landlords attempting to evict tenants for making modifications to their units without consent of the property owner (hello, Ghost Ship fire).

Again although I feel for tenants in bad predicaments, these tenants should have planned for the future.

Posted by Anika Brown on 12/05/2016 at 11:44 AM

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