To prevent tragedies like the deadly Ghost Ship fire last year, California needs more affordable housing and performance spaces for artists, the father of one of the fire's victims told state legislators in Sacramento Wednesday.
Edwin Bernbaum's son Jonathan was one of 36 people who died last December when the Ghost Ship, an unpermitted live-work space in Oakland, went up in flames. Bernbaum spoke at a hearing of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee aimed at finding ways to prevent similar tragedies.
"This is something Jonathan would have loved to have seen done," said Bernbaum. "It was something that was a great concern to him and I think it would be a great way to honor the victims."
Bernbaum's son Jonathan was a visual projection artist who grew up in Berkeley.
Bernbaum says he's started an organization to raise money for safe spaces for artists to live and work. The group is called Vital Arts, "because the word vital is something that’s alive and essential, and we see an innovative, vibrant, alive arts community as being essential to the vitality, health and well-being of society at large."