Jessamyn here, wanting to share my thoughts:

The #Ghostship fire has me in deep despair. I’m mourning the loss of so many people…creatives and friends of friends. The loss continues to grow as we learn more. 

As I grieve, I’m remembering our old office that was across the street from where the family and friends’ crisis center is now located at the sheriff’s office on E12th and Miller Ave/25th, just blocks from the fire.

Oakland Rising was in a warehouse that looked outwardly similar to Ghostship and had previously been a literal sweatshop with its large and very illegal attic. We had 40+ people working out of that attic…because we were scraping by to continue our work and dedicated although broke. Every member of our team was on computers phoning voters, with only TWO outlets in the entire space. This could’ve been us so easily. We feared it every day. (Shoutout to Lanese MArtin for finding our current, safer space 4 years ago.)

Point being, the reality in which working class people and organizations are trying to survive has pushed us to have no other choice than unsafe spaces or outright displacement. Whether it looks like throwing a party in a cramped warehouse or running campaigns out of one or (insert your story here), we’re literally pressed for space on which to survive.

This is part and literal parcel of the corporate forces that are dominating the Bay and creating crises for continued safe and healthy living here, especially for working class people of color who’ve been here for generations. And this might be “too soon,” yet I believe in our comprehensive understanding of the forces at work and our ability to hold complexity. I offer this analysis with love.

As we mourn those lost and missing, let us also be clear on the causes and repercussions.

Shared with deep sadness, love, and compassion. As we mourn, let’s hold each other first and foremost. And let’s double down on these forces and assholes who put profit over people.

Love y’all. Holding you tight.


For more analysis connecting this tragedy to the great housing crisis:




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Oakland, CA 94612

Oakland Rising and our collaborative partners are united in our vision for a city that embodies health, happiness, safety, and equal opportunities for all. Our goal is to create a model of progress and sustainability that showcases the possibilities for American cities in the 21st century. We are committed to dismantling the barriers of racial, economic, political, environmental, and educational inequities that have divided us, and instead, embracing the collective strength found in our city’s diversity. We firmly believe that Oakland can achieve its full potential when every resident, student, and bus rider has the ability to shape our city’s future. This vision is attainable and we are determined to realize it through our collective actions, whether it’s through voting, meetings, or call to actions.

Every year, we release a Vision, Issues, and Policy Platform (VIPP) which outlines the annual policies that we and our eight partner organizations prioritize in order to advance racial, economic, and environmental justice in the Town. Our collaborative’s agenda encompasses a range of critical initiatives, from expanding affordable housing to creating a more equitable democracy through campaign finance reforms. These priorities are designed to provide vital protections and innovative solutions for the most vulnerable members of our community. As we continue our efforts to promote these policies, we hold conversations with thousands of voters, lead and co-host impactful town hall meetings, educate and mobilize residents and voters, and undertake various other initiatives.

To gain a deeper understanding of our commitment to resist, protect, and advance in this political moment, we invite you to explore our 2023 Vision, Issues, and Policy Platform. Together, we are making strides towards a more equitable and just Oakland, and we remain steadfast in our pursuit of change, one vote, one meeting, one march at a time.

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