The Oakland fire is tragedy in terms of lives lost. But it also reflects a broader national tragedy: Too many people are OK with “everything goes” lifestyles and too many people are not taking responsibility, not thinking of consequences to themselves, their families and the community.
Clearly, the Oakland disaster was enabled by national government policy and made possible by local authorities that either looked the other way or failed to enforce obvious and logical fire and building codes. Not only was the Oakland situation a danger to the inhabitants of the art colony, it represented a danger to the neighborhood and to the country. Allowing such a situation to evolve is like saying it’s OK to let a cancer spread throughout a body without aggressive treatment.
The Oakland disaster should serve as a wake-up call to government leaders, local and national to examine our policies and ask ourselves this question: Has the time for change arrived?
Gunther Karger, Homestead