|You can help inform the upcoming 2021-23 City budget process by sharing your thoughts and opinions on public safety. We invite Black, Indigenous, People of Color living in the East and West flatlands of Oakland to complete the survey. Please also spread the word by forwarding this to BIPOC flatland residents in your circle.|
|The country is seeing an increase in reported crimes targeting the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the last month. Mayor Libby Schaaf is taking advantage of this moment to advance her own political interests to continue diverting our public dollars to the police. During Chinatown’s press conference to bring attention to the attacked victims and survivors, the Mayor hijacked the moment in order to deflect accountability, and redirect focus and undeserved blame onto City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas’ proposed $25 million OPD budget cut. But we know that the rise in crime is directly linked to the increase in economic disparities our vulnerable communities face.|
This outrageous “political chess” move and divisive tactic has not only undermined the efforts of the Defund the Police movement and efforts to reimagine public safety and refund vital community services and programs, but has also resulted in anti-Black and pro-police sentiment surrounding the community response to public safety in our neighborhoods. The move by the mayor also ignores the increase in gun violence and deaths in East Oakland. It silences the voices of Black and Brown community members who have been asking for more resources in their neighborhoods to address the root causes long before the pandemic. From our initial results of the survey, residents from District 3, 5, 6, 7 are reporting they want to see more investment in community programs and not policing. Your input would help us tell the City Administration and the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force what we believe should be refunded, restored, and reimagined in our communities to keep us all safe.
|Thanks to City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas for her quick response and commitment to public safety, she helped reinstate foot patrol liaisons for Chinatown, Little Saigon and Fruitvale neighborhoods after hearing community input. While the Mayor scapegoated Council President Bas for the increased violence in Chinatown, Bas took the higher ground and quickly found an immediate solution to Chinatown’s heightened anxiety around the violence.|
We will continue to push for a transparent budget process that includes public input and will hold the Mayor accountable for working with the City Administrator last December to cut $29 million from the budget without public process or City Council approval. We also know that more police presence does not necessarily mean safety for ALL of our residents, but more distrust, criminalization, and militarization of our communities. These are bandage solutions to our hurting communities and it’s time we rethink long-term alternative solutions for prevention.
Our communities have asked to fund and restore the community ambassador programs or alternative responses which have shown to be very effective and successful at decreasing violence and crime in the local neighborhood. We know what keeps our people safe and what doesn’t. This is our opportunity to survey the community and gather public opinion on what public safety looks like for our neighborhoods and where residents would like to see their money going towards, as well as the programs they would like to see restored. This is our opportunity to reimagine what true community safety alternatives and long-term solutions look like.
Our survey collection ends soon! We hope you will take 5 minutes of your time to help us better understand how we can keep each other safe without police and where funds should be restored in our city. It takes all of us to reimagine a new Oakland.