Night and Day: Mitigation Policymaking in Oakland, California. Before and After the Loma Prieta Disaster

August 1998 (VOL. 16, NO. 2)

Download this article

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake was a watershed event for all of the communities it affected but perhaps more so for Oakland, California, where it had a fundamental and enduring impact on the decision agenda of city government. This paper explains (1) local government inaction on earthquake safety in Oakland before the disaster and then (2) how and why a political coalition was formed to develop a series of city ordinances to abate the hazard posed by earthquake-damaged buildings as well as by a class of structures (unreinforced masonry) known to be particularly earthquake-vulnerable.