Delete the exigency clause
I oppose the new language that is proposed by the City Council. Do you want change or keep the statusquo? Don't be bully by OPA, don't let fear guide you, let Democracy guide you. We have to move forward not backwards.
As a long time resident I support defunding the Oakland Police Department and using redirecting those resources towards public heath, education, food, mental health and housing programs.
As an arts educator who supports the Oakland community, I urge the city council to defund the Oakland Police Department and reinvest in community initiatives, including affordable housing, mental health services, support for the homeless, public education, food programs, youth programming, and other community-led programs and responses.
I demand that the city council does not approve OPD's request for additional funds for their helicopter or Sharpshooter contract. They already have too many "non-lethal" resources that have been proven lethal and harmful to community members for multiple years now.
I support Defunding OPD and investing in Black and Brown communities. 44% of the budget is given to OPD and that his too much. Only 10% of OPD live in Oakland and more heavily police Black and Brown communities. This is not community policing. This is an occupation, which makes us all less safe and it is morally wrong. Defund the OPD and invest in Black and Brown community services, led by Black and Brown people. Thank you.
Please defund OPD by $150M and reinvest these funds in mental health care projects like MACRO and other community-led responses to crisis.
I am a District 6 resident. The amendment to fund an taskforce to explore defunding OPD is just stalling. The data is there. Defund now. If Measure Z is the problem, let's work to address it.
Jennifer Tu, District 3 resident, non-Black person of color.
Please increase health services, support for the houseless, school funds, and youth programming in the budget. To balance the budget, you can move money over from the OPD budget.
Please do not grant OPD's request for additional funds for their helicopter or Sharpshooter contract. OPD can find funds for their toys using the same techniques teachers use to find funds to give school supplies to our city's kids.
My name is Stephanie and I live in District 3. I'm calling to remove half of OPD's budget, to end contracts with CHP, and to remove police from OUSD. Listen to our community. Support our disenfranchised community.
The council and it's predecessors are responsible for decades of divestment in education, housing, public health, youth and job programs while consistently increasing the police budget. I hear shock, disbelief and fear at the idea of cutting the police budget by 50%, but the reality is that portion of the city budget that goes to the police has become grossly imbalanced.
It is time for the council to go on the record as saying that they are committed to a 50% reduction and redistribution of the police budget. The proposal before the council is completely inadequate. Even if the council can truly justify a smaller reduction in this budget cycle, there is no reason that they can not make a commitment to cutting 50% by the end of the year. I also call on the city staff to present at the next meeting the historical % reduction in city investment in social services and the % increase in investment in the law enforcement over the last 30-40 years.
What part of 50% have you difficulty in understanding?
Bas's proposal is the best yet, claiming a minimum of $25M from the OPD to redistribute, yet even this is far short of the $150M we have demanded.
The "Equity Caucus" has however completely disgraced the needs of the community by cutting funds from the schools' food programs?! Seriously?! In what world is that righteous?! How are we expected to accept that?! No. Way. Denied.
CUT $150M from the OPD's allotment in the general fund. IMMEDIATELY.
That's not even a full 50% overhaul of the OPD, so I think we're being generous in the given circumstance.
In choosing to not respect the demands of your communities... what does that say about you all?
You're smarter than that.
I understand that city leaders in Oakland have promised for years to reform and beef up OPD, and that many of you believe now is not the time to make drastic cuts to their department. Mayor Schaaf has cited Oakland's officer-per-crime ratio, the lowest of any department in the country, to support her stance. However, research is mixed as to whether more cops drive down crime rates. If that were true, increasing the number of police and the scope of arrests would reduce crime and improve ordinary citizens’ lives (“broken windows” policing.) However, in NYC in late 2014 and early 2015, the NYPD, in a fight with Mayor Bill de Blasio, held a work slowdown and reduced their policing. Civilian complaints of major crimes (murder, rape, felony assault, burglary and grand larceny) actually DECLINED during the slowdown. More studies are showing that crime is driven by income inequality, poor education, and inadequate healthcare and we can proactively reduce crime by tackling these issues.
I am an Oakland teacher demanding that we make cuts to OPD by at least 50%. Those freed funds should go to RJ programs in our schools, free to low cost mental health services to Black and Brown communities, crisis unit response teams that are not affiliated with OPD, and affordable housing. Anything less than 50% of OPD cuts will not be accepted. What you are offering is less than what OUSD has cut in our schools. Please do right by your Oakland community. We need leaders who are willing to make radical changes that are going to keep us alive.
Terri McWilliams, District 6 resident, June 22, 2020
I am writing asking for your continued support in funding the Mobile Assistance Community Response of Oakland (MACRO) pilot program. It’s has already been noted that this program is beneficial to those who need non-violent, non-criminal assistance enabling them to get needed services rather being arrested or killed by the Oakland Police Department. Additionally, OPD continues to fail at handling the most basic deescalation when responding to mental health issues. Now is the time to make a change. DO THE RIGHT THING.
We still demand:
- Defunding of OPD by 50%.
- Budget cut should then be redistributed to education, non-crisis intervention services, youth art and activity programs to increase availability of jobs, housing, and other community resources.
- We also demand the removal of police from schools; school shootings have not decreased since placement of police, and arrests of students of color has been on the rise. No more unauthorized police overtime.
We will not settle for reforms or stricter laws that get us nowhere. This has never worked. Defund OPD by 50% and redistribute the money as listed. Take the following steps and stop insulting us with fake attempts to solve the problem.