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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2010
Contact: Stacie Szmonko 339-222-8771
Town Hall Highlights Community Alternatives to Gang Injunctions
What: Community Town Hall about solutions to violence
Where: Oakland City Council Chambers, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
When: May 8, 2010, 8 am – 12 noon
Oakland, CA – On May 8th, community members, educators, lawyers, health professionals, and organizers will gather to discuss community-based solutions to violence in Oakland as alternatives to the controversial North Oakland gang injunction. The Lovelife Foundation, The Coalition to Stop the Injunction, and Plan for a Safer Oakland are sponsoring the event, which will feature interactive panels, a discussion forum, and a community lunch.
“It’s been proven the gang injunction did not work in Long Beach. What makes city officials think it’s going to work in Oakland? We need long term solutions to crime which are improved quality of education and economic development in poor communities where the underground economy is prevalent,” says Donald Lacy, Executive Director of the LoveLife Foundation.
Panels will focus on three themes: the problem of violence in Oakland; an explanation of gang injunctions and their negative effects on communities; and community-based solutions.
“Community organizations are being decimated by cuts in city funding,” says Linda Evans of All of Us or None and the Coalition to Stop the Injunction, “yet this injunction has already cost nearly half a million dollars. The hundreds of community members who have signed petitions and rallied against injunctions have every right to challenge the wrong priorities of city officials who support them.”
At a recent Neighborhood Watch Steering Committee meeting, Deputy City Attorney Rocio Fierro made it clear that the courtroom will not allow for community voices. “I don’t want community members filing declarations for their own safety,” Fierro said.
The townall will be a forum to address community concerns over the gang injunction, which include the increased risk for racial profiling. “By proposing this injunction, the city has decided to legalize racial profiling against young people of color,” says N. Oakland resident Savannah Kilner. “The city is not providing solutions to poverty and violence. We know what is best for our communities, and May 8th will be a time to come together, discuss what is already being done, and where we can go from here.”
Organizations participating in the town hall include the LoveLife Foundation, Critical Resistance, All of Us or None, the ACLU, the StoryTelling and Organizing Project, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, and Plan for a Safer Oakland.
For more information about the LoveLife Foundation visit http://www.lovelifefoundation.org/
For more information about the Coalition to Stop the Injunction visit https://stoptheinjunction.wordpress.com/
For more information about Plan for a Safer Oakland visit http://www.criticalresistance.org/article.php?id=101