|Our survey results for the Refund, Restore, Reimagine Oakland campaign are in! Thanks to our 23 amazing volunteers led by our fabulous IVE organizers, we ran a text bank program this Winter which invited 30,883 voters of color in the flatlands of East and West Oakland to share their thoughts on reimagining public safety via our survey.
It’s time to reimagine the safety of our communities and find creative and innovative ways to solve issues that arise by getting at the root of the social inequities and economic disparities that cause violence within our communities. Continually ignoring our social ailments and disposing of our people does not fix anything; we must invest in our people and ensure food, job, and housing security, especially during these hard and unprecedented times for our working-class communities of color.
More than 65% of respondents agreed that the Oakland Police Department (OPD) should be defunded by 50% and that we must reimagine public safety in Black & Brown communities.
|Over 300 residents filled out the survey and shared their thoughts on budget priorities, safety, and policing alternatives. Most of our survey respondents live in East and West Oakland, specifically Districts 3, 5, 6 and 7 – the communities most impacted by the systemic oppression of poverty due to disinvestment, environmental racism, and over-policing.
|Of the survey respondents:
– 71% reside in the flatlands,
– 62% identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), and
– 52% are systems-impacted of which 36% are BIPOC and 29% are BIPOC flatlands residents.
|This survey data shows that many residents are not happy with police presence in their communities as it does not add to their sense of safety or quality of life. This is why we need alternatives to police response. Today the Oakland City Council is voting to approve plans to make MACRO, a mental health response program, a permanent city service with good paying union jobs within the Fire Department and a community oversight committee. This is a critical first step in reimagining public safety.
|Our survey results show us that residents support transforming safety in Oakland by defunding OPD and investing in alternative community programs. Many respondents see family and community as the bearers of community safety – not police. Residents connect that the safest communities have the most resources available and the least amount of police presence. We know what safety looks like for us. It’s time for the city to shift its funding priorities to reflect what its residents want.We know we can create a new and different world. Even though our city administration is stuck in the past, saying it’s not possible, we’ll continue to ensure the voices of residents are heard. Residents are tired of seeing the same “solution” tried again and again without seeing improved results. It’s time to reimagine the safety of our communities and find creative and innovative ways to solve issues that arise by getting to the root of the social inequities and economic disparities that cause violence within our communities.
FYI, the Anti Police Terror-Project released a new report analyzing how the OPD spends its time. Read more on the report here.