APTP Call to Community: Join us to Fight Secret OPD Pay INcrease!
Tonight the Oakland City Council will vote on a new police contract that includes a 12.5% raise increase for rank-and-file police officers, the chief and top commanders over the next five years. It is unclear what, if any, other changes have been made to OPDs conditions of employment despite the numerous inefficiencies in their contracts that cost the people of Oakland millions of dollars unnecessarily
At a time when we are facing a budget crisis with a dismal five-year projection city workers languishing in part-time positions or at 2008 pay levels, millions of dollars in unfunded liabilities, teachers who can’t afford to live here, massive displacement, regiousegregious levels of homelessness, environmental injustices across the city, and an underfunded healthcare pension liability that increases tens of millions of dollars each year, rushing through police contracts without transparency or public input is reckless at best.
What is truly needed is a comprehensive audit of OPD so we can see where the money goes and eliminate the millions of dollars in loopholes and inefficiencies.environmental that are literally killing us; how can the City justify this agreement as something that is good for Oakland?
The fact that this new contract only came to light when an investigative journalist placed it in his Twitter feed raises several red flags and many questions that must be answered before Council should even consider approving this five-year deal:
Why is this happening before 2019 budget conversations begin?
Why is this happening seven whole months before the current MOU between the City and the OPOA expires?
Why did the Police Commission - who in theory oversees the police chief - have no say in whether or not the Chief gets a raise or in the crafting of this new agreement?
Why has there been no process for community input, like in years previous, and like what happens in almost every other city across the country?
Why are the police being rewarded for another year of failing to get out of federal receivership?
Why is the Chief being rewarded for homicide rates that surpass last years data, a police department that still disproportionately profiles and abuses its Black community members and for promoting officers who knowingly covered up the rape and trafficking of a minor?
Why when we have 9,000 people sleeping on the streets every single night would we not hold on to every penny we have and direct it toward dealing with what the United Nations had called a humanitarian crisis?
Why is this being rushed to happen before the new - and more progressive - City Council take their seats.
A few things are clear:
They wanted this done before the new budget fight so that they can say their hands are tied and silence any community calls for investment in transparency and prevention and not just criminalization
The Police Commission continues to be undermined by the City at every turn; further demonstrating why a completely independent commission is necessary for any actual accountability can take place
This is a clear violation of the participatory budget process that Oakland is supposed to employ wherein all community members are able to tell elected officials what the people’s priorities are for the people’s dollars
The police are not getting out of federal receivership because they have no incentive to - the City continues to give them raises despite dismal performance records which means the City doesn’t actually care how we are treated by law enforcement and is committed to enforcing the status quo
The administration is clear that the new City council will be more challenging to control and has shifted significantly to the left. We can expect more of these cover-of-dark deals to take place in the months and years ahead
We need an immediate and complete audit of the Oakland Police Department
We must remain vigilant
We urge the Oakland community to show up tonight at City Council and ask these questions of your elected officials. If you can’t show up tonight, call, text or email them, leave an online comment but let them know we are watching, we are opposed and we will hold them accountable.
In struggle & solidarity,
Anti Police-Terror Project