Join us on October 17th at the People’s Forum on Public Safety to share ideas about making our communities safe, healthy, and strong.
With national, state, county, and local elections less than a month away, candidates are quick to lay out their view on what peoples’ problems are and how they’ll be going about addressing them. Here in Oakland public safety has taken center stage in City Council and City Attorney campaigns, with candidate after candidate scrambling to offer fixes. Stop the Injunctions Coalition continues fighting to keep our communities’ voices at the heart of conversations about public safety in our city. All too often those most affected by all types of violence are most marginalized when it comes to planning and implementing solutions, even as it is these same members of our communities who offer the most hope, creativity, and vision toward building strategies that disrupt and change cycles of harm.
But our collective work has shone through. During candidate forums, nearly all candidates in all districts have said they don’t support the use of gang injunctions. Some have even flipped their position in the course of their campaign, from being pro-injunction to being against. We are encouraged that the work of our coalition has cemented so much opposition to gang injunctions, even among those who often scramble to outdo one another in being tough on crime. We are encouraged that this shift away from injunctions presents an opportunity to get rid of the injunctions–once and for all.
Recent events including clearing the cop who killed Alan Blueford of any wrongdoing and the repeated denial of public access to City Council meetings for Blueford’s family and their supporters when they sought information regarding his death, have happened against the backdrop of the recent threat of federal receivership of the Oakland Police Department. These incidents and countless others have increased the distrust residents have in the OPD and in the city leadership that seems to allow the cops to do whatever they want.
Whether we are able, allowed, or choose to vote in November, there are some clear paths forward. Oakland’s city government will fail its residents if they continue attempting to police their way out of social and economic crises. Stop the Injunctions Coalition have joined people across Oakland in consistently demanding that the real economic, social and cultural needs of all of Oakland’s neighborhoods be prioritized. Issues of public safety, police violence, anti-immigrant policies, gentrification, housing, racism, and disenfranchisement are clearly connected. Communities need to be at the forefront of solutions and they need access to information and decision-making, and creativity and innovation must be our guides. Luckily, people and organizations across the City are pushing forward ideas and strategies to build up our collective power. We hope you will join us on October 17th at our People’s Forum on Public Safety where we will work alongside our friends, families, co-workers, and neighbors to imagine ways to seize on opportunities leading up to the elections and beyond and to share ideas about making our communities safe, healthy, and strong.
View the North Oakland 2012 Election Voter Guide! HERE Or, get your paper copy at the Phat Beets Saturday market; put together by XMC.