From workshop weekend catalog, https://workshopweekend.net/oakland/catalog#workshop-lockpicking
Some folks felt it was a serious error in judgement when the team editing Mayor Quan's massive weekly newsletter added a listing for one of the classes being held at co-working space Sudoroom this weekend as part of a Workshop Weekend that featured "Learn how to pick a lock."
A few Oakland residents, already frazzled by the burglaries, robberies and narrowly averted muggings on their streets, cried out in protest. One local resident wrote the Mayor that she was "appalled" by the workshop and said, "While I understand that you are not the sponsor of the event, is this really something we should be allowing to take place in Oakland, let alone announcing it in your newsletter?"
Always responsive, Mayor Quan was quick to replyon her Facebook page: "…we can understand why you might be upset….We will try to do a better job editing pieces submitted from the community."
The class in question, Introduction to Lockpicking, is part of a Workshop Weekend event, and is for what are known as "sport-pickers." The class will be taught by Michael Fitzhugh (no relation to OL ME Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig) and members of Tool, a group dedicated to advancing the general public knowledge about locks and lockpicking, and it appears to be sold out.
Does mentioning a class in lock-picking promote and encourage criminal behavior in Oakland?
Seems like, if you're a resident on a street where the police are slow to show up and criminals endlessly case and cruise, the answer feels like yes.
Update: Some folks wondered if I was bothered by this workshop being offered, or the Mayor's newsletter mentioning it, and the answer is no. I feel terrible about the level of crime in Oakland, and as a resident, I am involved in the issue as everyone here, but most of the criminals I've encountered aren't going to be taking lock-picking classes anytime soon.