Governments' Lighter Side

Just pick your own lock

What could possibly go wrong with a mayor promoting a community-based workshop weekend in her weekly newsletter? That's probably what Oakland Mayor Jean Quan wondered when she referred to "Introduction to Lock Picking" as one of the "amazing array of classes" being offered this past weekend. In a city where burglaries increased more than 40 percent in 2012, that didn't go over so well, according to the Oakland Tribune.

A screenshot pointing out the fax paus first appeared on the Oakland Residents for Peaceful Neighborhoods (ORPN) website and the story was then picked up by The Oakland Tribune and other media outlets. The coverage prompted Quan to issue an apology. "I've heard from people who are upset about the lock picking class item," she said in a statement. "I understand their reaction and I apologize. I am ultimately responsible for what goes out and I and our editor will do a better job reviewing these listings in the future before sending them."

According to ORPN, the workshop was still scheduled to take place, but lock-picking tools were no longer offered for sale at the class.

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What's Governments' Lighter Side?

It is an irreverent take on local and state government news.


Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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