founder’s column: Budget Time in Oakland
by Cat Brooks
It is budget time in the City of Oakland and once again, APTP is part of the Refund Coalition.
The Refund Coalition is a group of grassroots organizations, nonprofits and labor unions representing issues such as police accountability, workers rights, tenants rights, anti-displacement initiatives, Black arts and culture, housing and the unhoused crisis.
A City of Oakland survey demonstrated that the top two priorities for Oaklanders in this next budget cycle were Housing and Homelessness, yet the Mayor’s budget looks like a hand out for developers and police.
Schaaf’s proposed budget for 2019-2021 increases OPD’s share of the general fund to 44.67% while other crucial services are neglected:
Parks & Rec receives just 2.4%,Public Works receives just 0.53%,Housing and Community Development just 0.1%,and Race and Equity just 0.1%.
Schaaf’s budget proposal increases general funds dollars for the Mayor’s office and OPD while decreasing the funds that will actually benefit the people of Oakland.
If this makes you mad, it should. That's why we're working in coalition with various community groups to fight for a PEOPLE'S BUDGET.
The budget will be finalized on June 30th. Please join us at these next few more opportunities to weigh in:
What: District 2 Budget Forum w/ Councilmember Nikki Bas
When: Tonight, May 16th, 6:00 PM
Where: Lincoln Recreation Center, 250 10th Street, 94607
What: District 1 Budget Forum w/ Councilmember Dan Kalb
When: Saturday, May 18th, 10:00 AM
Where: City of Oakland Senior Centers, 5714 MLK Way, 94609
Then on Monday, June 10th, join us at City Council to hear Council President Rebecca Kaplan’s budget proposal.
It is critical that you are engaged now in ensuring we have a budget that reflects the values of justice, equity and humanity.
If you would like to join the Defund OPD Committee, please email James Burch, APTP Policy Director at jamesaptp at gmail dot com.
Oakland's Dysfunctional Police Commission
When Measure LL was being crafted, APTP warned that there was too much city influence in the day-to-day running of the commission, that it was dangerous to allow the mayor three direct appointments, that there wasn’t a plan for appropriate trainings, and that the terms of the enabling ordinance should have been set before it went on the ballot.
We knew that the city would ultimately starve the commission of the resources it needs to function as a civilian police commission that the people thought they were voting for.
We hate to say it but we were right.
We're working with the Coalition for Police Accountability to pressure the City to give the Police Commission the funds and autonomy it needs to do its job.
We are also launching a Police Commission Watchdog Committee that will be headed up by former police commissioner and APTP ally Maureen Benson, and we are looking for volunteers to join.
What we need from our community:
10+ attendees at the next three Commission meetings (5/23, 6/13, 6/27) to stand up against the attacks on Community Appointed Vice Chair Harris and stand FOR a people's budget (not the Mayor's budget). We will
Volunteers who can reach out to Maureen Benson, former police commissioner and APTP ally, to create a subcommittee and begin organizing. Volunteer prospects can respond to firstname.lastname@example.org and your contact information will be forwarded to Maureen.
People that can attend to speak on issues as needed
View meetings on KTOP and document key issues for accountability and organizing *We might even have watch parties!
Stand up for the revision of Measure LL which was NOT the independent Police Commission that the people wanted
Help create social media support for the Commission Watchdog subcommittee
We knew from the beginning that this Commission was not independent.
The City Administration has been exercising a ton of control over this commission, especially as community appointed members began to surface obstruction and cover ups.
At least one community commissioner has resigned in protest and the community appointed Vice Chair is being attacked and there is an attempt to silence the ONE outspoken voice on behalf of the community.
Please respond to this email if you would like to join our Police Commission Watchdog Committee.
Vallejo PD, the “most corrupt, violent and rogue police department in the Bay Area"
The Vallejo Police Department is out of control.
OPD used to hold the title for the most rogue, violent and corrupt police department in the Bay Area, but after repeated offenses, Vallejo PD now wears the crown.
One example of how bad it is in Vallejo: the Police Department just hired former Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan to be their consultant to "turn things around."
For those who may not remember, several Black men were killed while Jordan was chief, including 18 year old, unarmed Alan Blueford, and he was also the Chief who oversaw the brutal attacks on peaceful demonstrators during Occupy (resulting in Scott Olsen being disabled for life).
This is NOT the kind of man you bring in to “fix” a police department.
We are working in Vallejo with impacted families and community members to build infrastructure, a base and a plan to hold VPD accountable.
Vallejo is a quick 30 minute drive from Oakland and they really need our support.
Please stay tuned for events, city council meetings and other ways you can support the organizing happening there.
We are excited to announce that we have officially launched APTP Sacramento.
They are having their first First Responders Training tomorrow evening at 6:30 pm and a Security Training on Friday, May 24th.
If you have comrades in Sac, encourage them to like the APTP Sacramento Facebook page to keep in the loop about trainings and ways to join the chapter!
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Thank you & much love!