Jonah Strauss 1 
Member since Mar 27, 2017


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Recent Comments

Re: “Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan Nominates “BBQ Becky” Victim for Oakland Parks and Rec Position

I enjoy the particular phrasing of the last line of this article.

Posted by Jonah Strauss 1 on 05/23/2018 at 12:28 AM

Re: “Pending Eviction of Former Black Panther Aunti Frances Highlights Just-Cause 'Loophole'

Measure JJ didn't go far enough to amend Just Cause in 2016. Hopefully we can get a ballot measure together in 2018 to Close the Loopholes, most notably this one.

Morphy and her family are assailants in the current class war raging in our neighborhoods, primarily against low-income black and brown folks. While this case is high-profile, hundreds of others have been perpetrated silently in North Oakland. With the current tenants' rights framework, tenants are at an extreme disadvantage against landlords.

The heart of the matter is deeper than gentrification; one must look at the not-so-subtle racism in Oakland's ordinances, and the structures that allow for ongoing oppression and removal of poor folks from their homes and the communities that support them.

By utilizing the racist and classist tools available to them, Morphy and family become, in practice, racist and classist. Regardless of whether they succeed in these two unethical evictions, that should be their cross to bear in Oakland moving forward.

Posted by Jonah Strauss 1 on 12/11/2017 at 8:23 PM

Re: “Town Business: City of Oakland and Its Employees Enter Mediation in Effort to Resolve Impasse

This can be fixed with a commitment to slash the OPD budget in May, so that we can pay the rest of our workers fair wages!

Posted by Jonah Strauss 1 on 12/11/2017 at 1:04 PM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

Rereading the above, I realize I was using some strong language. The anniversary is a rather heavy time. Pardon the oversight but please take the points.

Posted by Jonah Strauss 1 on 12/03/2017 at 10:07 AM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

Robert, everyone already knows Almena shoulders the primary responsibility, so I don't understand the source of your fervor. Regarding Harris, I'm sure you have the resources to dig a little deeper than what went into the sentiment you're expressing here. There are pretty significant differences -- just ask community members. Remember that the DA has a PR goal, and charges may have to change after deposition this week.

The article comes off as pretty mainstream in its reactionary tone, which was the standard MSM approach a year ago. Your Oakland Magazine article (January?) was along similar lines, though I can see you've toned it down since then.

You've got the tacit agreement thing between tenants/landlords/City described accurately, and you are certainly correct that tenants who build out non-conforming spaces -- typically with owner permission -- have historically taken great pride in their work and in its long term safety and stability. That was nice to see acknowledged in print after all these months.

Regarding the building department, you are a little misinformed, which is surprising coming from the editor of the Express. That is most clear here:

"But requiring city employees to determine which spaces are clearly dangerous and need to be shut down like the Ghost Ship and which ones only present minor hazards that need to be fixed is not so simple. Such a protocol, if it were established, also could expose the city to further liability, especially if people were to die in a fire in a warehouse that the city had deemed to be not that bad."

While technically true, this last sentence is fearmongering, no better than internet whackos who call for widespread evictions. Warehouse & non-conforming unit safety advocates have been meeting with select City officials for many months to design an appropriate path forward, one that is hardly touched upon in the Anniversary Report and in the Mayor and Administrator's rhetoric. Both parties share the same concern for life safety, and recognize that there are very few (if any) spaces left like Ghost Ship since the community did its own cleanup in the first half of 2017.

There are clear and simple ways to define what is and is not a life safety hazard. And contrary to Rich Fielding's historical approach, a collection of common code violations does not necessarily equal a life safety hazard. I look forward to seeing a hierarchy of compliance priorities in the future -- such as that used by community safety organizations -- adopted by Code Enforcement. There is no reason that such a practice would increase liability, as imminent life safety hazards do indeed require temporary relocation for repairs. Even in highly problematic cases where tenants can not be moved, such as 2551 San Pablo, the City can always order a 24-hour fire watch (which I believe would have saved that building).

If you need to worry about it, worry instead about the hazards that Code Enforcement is often careless about attending to, namely the pervasive violations in conventional multifamily housing available to low-income folks. You'd be alarmed at the callous approach of inspectors. From water damage and mold to uneven floors and shoddy electrical work, there are many violations that landowners are allowed to explain away or never be cited for -- provided, of course, that the tenants are poor and typically people of color.

Posted by Jonah Strauss 1 on 12/03/2017 at 5:46 AM

Re: “Fire Destroys West Oakland Apartment Building. Multiple Rescues Reported.

Please donate to the survivors.

https://www.youcaring.com/survivorsoffireat2551sanpablo-785311

Posted by Jonah Strauss 1 on 03/27/2017 at 1:06 PM

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