Defund Oakland Police Coalition - Endorsement

06/27 UPDATE: - we've been fundraising and seeking endorsements for a full-page ad in the SF Chronicle, and since Saturday June 26th, the ad has been published. Please sign this form if you want to add your name or organization to our list of endorsers, and to keep in touch for more ways to engage:
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FULL PAGE AD CONTENT ------------------------------------------------

demands for investment in community services are ignored in favor of police overfunding

Dear Bay Area Community,

We are your neighbors, representing over 100 community, faith, labor organizations and small businesses who care deeply about Oakland, and we are inviting you to say their names in remembrance with us:

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade.
Rayshard Brooks. Sahleem Tindle. Sean Monterrosa.
Steven Taylor. Erik Salgado. Oscar Grant.

On the streets, in our homes, in the media, the names of murdered Black and Brown people echo, with “Defund Police” and “Defend Black Lives” ringing out in return. All of this in the midst of a pandemic and a recession.

School’s out, jobs are scarce, and how are we going to pay our rent next week? For so many of us, perhaps like you, the choice is clear: take action to defend Black life and participate in the most transformational social uprising in a generation.

Children in our city deserve lush parks, childcare, and the education that prepares them to build their dreams. Our teachers, nurses, and bus drivers deserve wages that help their families thrive. Everyone deserves a roof over their heads. Instead, Oakland City Hall prioritizes policing that terrorizes and harms the health of our children and neighborhoods. In fact, the Oakland Police are is facing yet another use of force lawsuit for firing tear gas and rubber bullets on the Oakland Tech Youth march.

For decades, funding for the Oakland Police has grown to dominate nearly half of our city’s budget, displacing resources from essential programs and vital services for everyday people in Oakland. And while City Hall will have us believe that there is no alternative, it is clear we have been led astray.

The People of Oakland took proactive measures and proposed a new deal to City Hall that is specific, concrete, and provides immediate relief and community-centered safety, without cages and guns. Remove $150 million from the Oakland Police. Invest that money into essential healthcare, housing, youth programs, living wages, education, and other life-affirming programs that truly keep our community safe. This is the Black New Deal, and we need it now.

Instead, this week, five city council members rammed through a dishonorable and anti-democratic budget proposal from the self-proclaimed, and so-called “equity caucus,” without prior notice to their council colleagues nor the constituents like us that they represent. Their appalling budget overfunds Oakland police and cuts the investment in Parks, Recreation, and Youth Development, dismantles the Human Services department that serves the unhoused, and does nothing to guarantee further public safety in Oakland.

Councilmembers Gallo, Reid, Taylor, McElhaney and Kaplan made a choice to stand on the wrong side of history and silence The People of Oakland.

Each made a mockery of the last four weeks of protests, thousands of direct advocacy calls and emails, pPolice cCommission recommendations, hundreds of public comments in council meetings in unanimous support, and many years of leadership from organizations who have been calling for democratic changes to the City budget. They only cut $1.5 million in their so-called “equity budget.”

But we will not be silenced, and we will not allow democracy to be trumped by a morally vacant City Council incapable of leading transformational change.

Join us in declaring to Oakland City Hall, “Your Time is Up!” and let’s continue fighting for a brighter and more just future, together.


In solidarity,
The People of Oakland

List of 100 organizations and individuals - still growing!  

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