Last week, the Mayor and City Council had an opportunity to stand for Black Lives by investing millions into community services, but they failed to answer the call of the people. Councilmembers Bas and Kaplan had put forth a proposal to reallocate an additional $11.4 million (for a total of $25 million) in funding from the Oakland Police Department over the next two years, in order to more deeply invest in community. Their proposal included:  piloting a civilian mental health assistance hotline similar to one in Sacramento County;  expanding violence prevention and youth programs at school sites;  expanding support for CSEC (commercially sexually exploited children) and adults involved in human trafficking; and partnering with community organizations to provide safety ambassadors who are trusted and trained to assist with public education, service requests, conflict resolution and event support in neighborhoods and commercial corridors. We thank Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas and Council President Rebecca Kaplan for their leadership and partnership with the community, and expect the rest of Council and the Mayor to follow through on their commitment to reallocating $150 Million for the 2021-23 budget cycle.

survey by the Anti Police-Terror Project and #DefundthePolice Coalition, completed from July 15 to 19 by nearly 2,000 Oakland residents, found strong support for deep cuts to the police department and reallocating funding for housing (79%), mental health support (73%) and other social services. The survey showed respondents strongly supported the Bas and Kaplan proposal. So, we will keep moving forward with our demand to reallocate 50% of the police budget to community services.  We invite you to join us in figuring out how we want these funds invested back into the people of Oakland.
Join us on TODAY at 12PM to help urge City Council to support the “Reimagining Public Safety Task Force”! The Task Force will develop the plan to reallocate 50% of OPD’s budget in the next 2021-23 budget cycle, and reinvest it in community services and the public good. We need TRUE and FAIR representation in the task force – we need the most impacted communities, families of victims and those impacted by police violence – to inform and lead the effort.

Our asks:
– A “Reimagining Public Safety Task Force” MUST be made up of community members and survivors of police violence. 
– NO current or former law enforcement on the panel, or candidates who accept money and endorsements from law enforcement.
– ALLOW two extra appointments for Councilmembers Bas and Taylor, co-authors of the task force
– Councilmember’s nominations MUST be residents of their district

Steps you can take to support:
– Join the meeting online on TODAY, July 28th at 12PM or join by phone (669) 900 – 6833, Webinar ID: 882 0246 5657 and Dial *9 at the start of meeting to leave a public comment
– Leave an e-comment on Agenda Item #11 (e-comment closes 5 minutes before the start of meeting)
– Use the following script when leaving a public comment or e-comment: “My name is _______ and I am a resident of District ______. I am urging city council to support the “Reimagining Public Safety Task Force” to Defund OPD and Reinvest in Community. We need real representation on the panel – meaning it should be made up of community members and survivors of police violence, NOT political favorites. We also ask that no current or former law enforcement are appointed to the panel. Lastly, we need to keep the two additional appointments  for Councilmembers Bas and Taylor and ensure that all councilmember’s nominations MUST be residents of their district. Thank you.” [Find out which district you live in here]

The fight is far from over. We still need everyone on board until we are able to achieve true justice for our community. We do this work for each other because we keep us safe. No one is safe until we are all safe.