Blue Ribbon Commissioners should be ashamed of themselves

If you haven’t been following dto510′s excellent coverage of the Blue Ribbon Commission, you can get up to speed by checking out my Novometro story on the subject.

In what will undoubtedly be yet another colossal waste of time, the Commission will meet tonight again at 6:30 at City Hall, where they will squabble pointlessly over IZ, just as they have at virtually every meeting for the past six months. These fights will bring us no closer to providing affordable housing for any number of Oaklanders, but the BRC has repeatedly demonstrated that they have zero interest in such a goal.

IZ advocates are so determined to extract their pound of flesh from developers that they have abandoned all pretense of caring about whether or not any affordable housing gets built in this city at all. The BRC has not even bothered to examine implementation measures or consider how condo fees will impact lottery winners of affordable units. After the Commission received the Hausrath Group study demonstrating that IZ is completely economically infeasible in Oakland, Jean Quan’s appointee said that he didn’t even care if all building stopped. The Commission’s vice-chair, Earl Hamlin, contributed $1,300 to the Oak to Ninth Referendum Committee, a campaign aimed at stopping a project that would create 465 units of housing for our neediest residents. When these are the people charged with creating housing policy, it is no surprise that the needs of low and very low income families, seniors, immigrants, and the homeless have been completely ignored.

Their myopia is so extreme that it at first appears amusing. That is, until you remember that their single-minded attempts to socially engineer the city will actually end up harming our neighbors who are in the most dire need of help. Then you realize that it is tragic and cruel.

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