Community groups pressure City Council members to defund Oakland police
Dozens of Oakland residents marched to a number of Oakland City Council members’ homes Monday morning, demanding the elected officials defund Oakland police as the city considers budget revisions.OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — Dozens of Oakland residents marched to a number of Oakland City Council members’ homes Monday morning, demanding the elected officials defund Oakland police as the city considers budget revisions.
Shortly after 7 a.m. a number of Oakland residents gathered outside of Oakland District 5 Councilman Dan Gallo’s home.
How about this for your morning wake up call? Oakland District 5 Councilmemeber Dan Gallo woke up to this outside of his home this morning. Oakland community organizers demanding the city cut the @oaklandpoliceca budget by 50%, reinvest in public services. @abc7newsbayarea
There were drums, there was a mariachi band, and artists took to the streets to leave behind messages with their demands: “Defund OPD.”
“We don’t need more tear gas, we don’t need more rubber bullets. We need more funding for the services that are critical to us,” said Liz Suk with the community-based group Oakland Rising.
Councilman Gallo did come out of his home to speak to his constituents.
“We’re asking you to make a commitment to defund OPD by 50%,” one constituent said to Gallo.
Gallo said he hears the message loud and clear and he is also interested in further investing in social service, particularly in youth.
“I also agree that I need to disinvest from other departments – including the police,” Gallo told ABC7 news.
In North Oakland, another large group organized a march to District 1 Councilman Dan Kalb’s home where they voice their demands to cut OPD’s budget by 50% and reinvest in social services.
After the speakers finished delivering their message they went and knocked on Dan Kalb’s door. He was either not home or not interested in talking.
The group painted “Black Lives Matter” in bold letters just outside of the councilman’s home.
One of the youngest in the crowd was a 15-year-old rising sophomore at Oakland Technical High School.
“I don’t need a police officer to ask me if I have a hall pass to go to the bathroom. There’s just no use in that to me. It contributes directly to the school to prison pipeline,” said Satya Zamudio.
The group knocked on Kalb’s door, inviting him to speak. No one answered.
Minutes later a car caravan pulled up to District 6 Councilman Lorne Taylor’s home to deliver a letter urging him to defund OPD. No one answered.
NOW: A car caravan is arriving at District 6 Councilmember Loren Taylor’s house – one of the newest council members. Same demands: cut Oakland PD’s budget by half and invest in social services.
“We want things that will help build our community and help us keep each other safe and right now what we see happening in this country is not okay,” said Kimi Lee of the group Bay Rising.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has been vocal about not defunding the police department.
Schaaf advocated in better training for police instead of divestment recently on Midday Live.
On Tuesday, Oakland City Council takes up a number of issues on police reform and revisions to the city’s budget.
Schaaf has called for $122 million in budget cuts as the city faces a deficit due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo Credit: Brooke Anderson, Movement Photographer www.movementphotographer.com/