What does investing in community safety really look like? Dr. Frankie Ramos and Xochtil Larios from our partner, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, joined us to break down Mayor Thao’s proposed budget which increases funding for policing while divesting from community programs and services that we know provide real safety in our neighborhoods. 

 As Xochtil Larios put it, “Probation has said, ‘we can’t do anything once the youth is here. So what you need to invest in is preventable programs, preventable models.’ Your own Department of Probation has spoken about investing more into prevention based models and programs, whatever that looks like. Because once the youth is locked up we don’t have the power to do anything.”

Dr. Frankie Ramos summed up where the city needs to invest if we want to truly address public safety: “The problem is that people are invested in quick solutions. The truth of the matter is that it does take time to have a large enough impact that people can broadly in our community start to feel like this is a safe and healthy place to live….

“Anybody in Oakland that’s upset about public safety, that doesn’t feel safe, instead of demanding more police, they should be fighting with us for the People’s Budget that invests in housing, in jobs, in infrastructure, in resources for the people that need it.”