Meanwhile, recently released City Attorney’s officestatistics misleadingly show a 53% drop in the City’s legal costs due to payouts, settlements and outside attorney fees. The office fails to mention that the funds paid out in settlements this year is barely below the average of the previous 14 years. The figures also neglect to highlight that the lion share of the payouts continue to stem from cases involving OPD.
“This is what happens when you throw most of your resources into policing and imprisonment,” said Jesse Strauss, born-and-raised in Oakland and a member of the Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant. “You get a city that plays fake number games to hide everyday policing violence. You get a city that can’t think outside the box in its solutions to harm. As it is designed, our police-centered city government produces a law and order experience where neighborhoods remain under attack, instead of vibrant and self-determined, where the money is put into learning, reliable work and programs that support our health.”
From our allies’ experiences in the coalition, long nights at City Hall, and the daily work we are all doing to build a thriving city, we know hear residents of Oakland continue to call for funds to be put into education and meaningful programming. For the last two years, we have been showing up to City Council meetings with example after example of solutions that work for our communities, examples of programs that already exist in Oakland on shoestring budgets. We need to continue to push this work forward as exemplary and economically-wise ways to build safety and communities that thrive.
With City Council elections just over a month away, residents are trying to figure out who will be able to implement lasting solutions. At last night’s District 1 and At-Large Candidate Forum, over and over we heard the majority of the candidates for more police. City Attorney candidates Barbara Parker and Jane Bruner as well as candidates from all districts have been participating in voter forums across the city.
Stay tuned for an audio recording of last night’s forum at the Rockridge Library. Or email us if you want them sooner! firstname.lastname@example.org