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We must participate in budget hearings to save civilian police review proposal in Oakland!
City Administrator Dan Lindheim has made it impossible for the Public Safety Committee to move the civilianization of Internal Affairs proposal expeditiously to the Council for approval. Read this from an insider at City Hall:
…. the report was pulled by the City Administrator because the report needs additional information. We are currently in the process of compiling that information on potential issues for moving IA intake. We need a clear list of issues raised by the Police, NSA (Riders Negotiated Settlement Agreement), and City Administrator. As a group, we will have to make revisions to the costs and add additional research findings before the report goes forward to the Public Safety Committee meeting.I have not received any further instructions from the City Administrator on this matter.
Folks: this is B.S. The draft report had quite a bit of very specific information – certainly enough to warrant consideration by the Committee. But Dan’s failure to submit the CPRB report makes discussion of the item impossible on Tuesday, May 26, as scheduled.
As a consequence, the earliest the Public Safety Committee can hear this is June 9th, unless he finds a new way to further delay it, and, effectively kill this plan.
Therefore, our strategy must be to use the Budget hearings, instead of the Committee process, as a forum to insist that the proposal to civilianize the intake of complaints against police be incorporated into the 2009-2011 budget.
If Council doesn't include the additional resources needed to hire additional CPRB staff by the end of June, we will have no hope of implementing this plan in the near future, if at all!
We must engage in getting folks to call in on the Wednesday KTOP hearing at 6:30 PM, as well as attend the other budget hearings listed below. The Mayor's Office and the Council must be convinced that many people in the community actually care about this issue; right now, I don't think they feel that way.
Nothing less than an aggressive mobilization campaign will be able to overcome the 'behind the scenes' stonewalling and foot dragging that threatens this proposal from seeing the light of day!
Each of us needs to make sure that we get at least two friends to either phone in on Wednesday or attend one of the hearings below and advocate for our proposal. That means explaining to folks why the proposal to close Internal Affairs to citizen complaints and direct all complaints against police to a civilian run agency – the CPRB – which has no sworn officers or ties to OPD – makes sense, both from an independent oversight point of view as well as a fiscal point of view. We can’t be fighting for such a system for BART and not fighting for the same thing for Oakland residents, can we?
o Budget Workshop #1, Thursday, May 28, 1-7pm, Council Chambers
o Budget Workshop #2, Monday, June 1, 4-7pm, Council Chambers
o Final Budget Adoption and First Reading of Ordinances, Tuesday, June 16, 6 pm, Council Chambers
o Second Reading of Ordinances, Tuesday, June 30, 6 pm, Council Chambers
* In addition, there will be a live televised "Budget Townhall" on Wednesday, May 27 at 6:30 pm during which KTOP viewers can call-in to have their budget questions answered on-air.
This is prime time folks: if we don’t ‘step up’ in the next couple of weeks, all the work we’ve done for the last two years will be for naught. We can’t let Lindheim’s underhanded tactics rule the day!
Organize! Let me know whether you plan to phone in on Wednesday’s KTOP hearing, or which budget hearing you plan to attend. I’ll have talking points for those of you who need them but the main message is simple:
THE COMMUNITY WANTS COUNCIL TO BUDGET FOR THE TRANSFER OF CITIZEN COMPLAINTS TO THE CPRB RATHER THAN INTERNAL AFFAIRS. IT WILL SAVE MONEY WITHIN THREE YEARS AND PROVIDE INDEPENDENT, CREDIBLE OVERSIGHT OF THE OAKLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT.
for background info on Indybay, see: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/04/27/18591408.php
pueblo [at] peopleunited.org