Next stage–GA Senate races

Well, it’s far from what we hoped, but at least not the abyss that seemed possible. I imagine most of you have received the Flip the West email about their multi-pronged GA campaign–phone banks, texting, and postcards. We all know the drill. I just signed up for texting and post carding. Since I can’t figure out how to post the Flip the West call and volunteer links here, I’ll forward them to Andy. Or just email me at judith.stacey@nyu.edu if you’d like me to email it to you personally. Onward, and solidarity

Vinnie Bacon follow-up

Thanks to everyone who zoomed into The Meet & Greet for Board of Supes Dist 1 candidate Vinnie Bacon last night. Even bigger thanks to everyone who donated and or is willing to volunteer to phonebank or perhaps text for him. As I said last night, in addition to my personal donation, I will add an extra $10 for each $100 that my invitees donate by 5:30pm today, Sun, 8/30. Here are the links for donating and volunteering:

The recording of last night’s zoom meeting can be found at the link below with the password as shown. 
https://zoom.us/rec/share/2u5QFLHqsWlJQ6vN4UPBdqwDTor6X6a81ClNrPcOzUrVSNHQ-QnpPfAJFv9ckcVi Passcode: 2D5At..S 
The link to contribute and have it go towards your total is here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/aug29wellstone
And of course, volunteers can sign up here: https://bacon4supervisor.com/volunteer/

Sheriff budget grab item deferred

The Alameda County BOS agenda item to consider Sheriff Ahern’s outrageous funding proposal has been postponed because of the death of Supervisor Valle’s father. Valle is the current BOS chair and the swing vote on the 5-member BOS. Thanks for whatever emails and calls you already submitted. We will need to mobilize again when the item is rescheduled.

Tel numbers and script for calls to BOS

My prior post only included email addresses for the supervisors and I didn’t include a sample call script. Here are both

Call and Email script to reach out to Board of Supervisors:

My name is ___ , I’m calling urge you to deny the sheriff’s $85 million budget proposal on Tuesday. We’re in public health crisis, invest taxpayer dollars in healthcare and housing!

The coronavirus has reached Santa Rita Jail. Please immediately release people now. Any budget decision that prioritizes incarceration over healthcare puts all of us at risk.

FUND HEALTHCARE NOT HANDCUFFS

Board of Supervisors Contact Information:

District 1: Scott Haggerty scott.haggerty@acgov.org ; (510) 272-6691

District 2: Richard Valle (Board President, everyone contact)richard.valle@acgov.org ; 510- 272-6692

District 3: Wilma Chan. wilma.chan@acgov.org ; 510-272-6693

District 4: Nate Miley. nate.miley@acgov.org ; 510-272-6694

District 5: Keith Carson. Kcarson@acgov.org ; 510-272-6695

URGENT ACTION: Ask the Board of Supervisors to Fund Health Care, Not Incarceration

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors, at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday, April 21, will consider a request from Alameda County Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern for an additional $255 million over the next three years for the stated purpose of increasing staffing at the Alameda County Santa Rita Jail in Dublin despite the continuing decrease in the jail population. This is precisely the wrong way to spend County money, especially during the pandemic. Rather than giving the Sheriff more money for fewer prisoners, the Board of Supervisors should recognize that COVID-19 is spreading exponentially at the jail where the rate of diagnosed inmates per capita is 14 times the rate of recorded positive cases in Alameda County as a whole.

Instead, there is an urgent need to release as many inmates as possible and to fund healthcare, housing, and reentry programs, not more incarceration. Please call or email the Board of Supervisors, urging them to reject the Sheriff’s request for additional funds. It is particularly important to contact Supervisor Richard Valle from southern Alameda County, in addition to your Supervisor. If you have friends who live in Valle’s Second Supervisorial District (the cities of Hayward, Newark, and Union City; the northern portion of the city of Fremont; and a portion of the unincorporated community of Sunol), please pass this email to them.

Contact your member of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors below:

  1. Supervisor Scott Haggerty
  2. Supervisor Richard Valle
  3. Supervisor Wilma Chan
  4. Supervisor Nate Miley
  5. Supervisor Keith Carson

Not sure who your County Supervisor is? You can look up which district you live in here. You can also sign up to give public comment at the meeting, which will be live-streamed.  Instructions for participating in the live stream are here.

Please contact Berkeley City Council members

In the thick of the pandemic, Alameda County Sheriff Ahern proposes to bypass other budget needs to vastly expand staffing at Santa Rita Jail – already the “most dangerous place in Alameda County” – for $85 million a year for the next thee years. County supervisors will consider the proposal on April 21, and the Berkeley City Council has a chance at its meeting on Tuesday evening to weigh in against this money grab for handcuffs over healthcare.

The sheriff’s budget has ballooned to $452 million, even as the jail population declined over the last decade. The county badly needs funding in the next year to address the pandemic and profound economic crisis our communities face, on top of existing needs. The sheriff’s department has abused and exploited prisoners at Santa Rita Jail for years, and COVID-19 cases in the jail are now 16 times what they are (per thousand) in the County. The answer is not an unaccountable, massive expansion of jail staff. Instead, the County should invest in public health and programs for those with serious mental health challenges or who are at risk of losing housing. 

Community members have come together to draft the below City Council resolution that will need to be “walked in” to the Berkeley CityCouncil meeting on Tuesday. Please urge the Berkeley City Council to send a unanimous message to county supervisors.
PLEASE EMAIL COUNCIL MEMBERS TO URGE THEM TO OPPOSE THE MONEY GRAB FOR SANTA RITA JAIL. 

Write to all Berkeley City Council members at: council@cityofberkeley.info
OR Council Members individually at:
Mayor Jesse Arreguin – mayor@CityofBerkeley.info
D1 – Rashi Kesarwani – rkesarwani@CityofBerkeley.info
D2 – Cheryl Davila – cdavila@CityofBerkeley.info
D3 – Ben Bartlett – bbartlett@CityofBerkeley.info
D4 – Kate Harrison – kharrison@CityofBerkeley.info
D5 – Sophie Hahn – shahn@CityofBerkeley.info
D6 – Susan Wengraf – swengraf@CityofBerkeley.info
D7 – Rigel Robinson – rrobinson@CityofBerkeley.info
D8 – Lori Droste –  ldroste@CityofBerkeley.info

Proposed Resolution for Berkeley City Council for April 14 meeting

Continue reading

COVID 19 in Santa Rita Jail

URGENT ACTION ITEM

As I said in today’s meeting, as of Friday 15 inmates and 2 staff members at SRJ had tested positive for Covid. That is out of a population of appx 2000 remaining inmates, which means that the rate of reported infection in the jail is about 13x the rate of reported positive tests for Alameda County as a whole. Of course, only inmates with symptoms have been tested, a very small percentage of the population.
Please call DA Nancy O’Malley at (510)272-2222 and urge her to release all pre-trial and immunocompromised inmates and inmates nearing completion of their sentences immediately. Stress the urgency of the situation. Even before the Covid crisis, Santa Rita Jail had a shocking death rate. (appx 47 deaths in the past 5 years). Please spread the word as widely as possible as well. Thanks!

From Restore Oakland

 Restore Oakland 
 Dear Supporter,
Today the Alameda County Board of Supervisors will vote on the Sheriff’s proposal to allocate an additional $85 million toward staff at Santa Rita Jail. Rather than spend money to help our frontline public health workers, laid off co-workers, or unhoused neighbors, Alameda County is choosing to spend public dollars on incarceration. This is even more glaring given the safety concerns the coronavirus poses to those locked up inside. 

Hundreds of you have contacted the county supervisors and dozens of organizations and unions have called on the supervisors to do prioritize people over punishment. We need to keep the pressure on! Here are some links and instructions to virtually mobilize with us: Livestream today’s county meeting at 10:45am and make your voice heard by participating in public comment. You can join by zoom or by phone, find more teleconferencing instructions here. The sheriff’s $85 million budget proposal we’re commenting on is Item #8. You can find the full board agenda here.If you don’t have time to tune in, you can provide written comment by emailing the county clerk at CBS@acgov.org. Include your name, your commet and remember note agenda item #8 in your email. Feel free to email me if you need support navigating this process. 

Sample public comment: My name is ___ and I live in ______. Please vote NO on the proposed annual allocation of $85 million for 370 new positions at Santa Rita Jail. Spending taxpayer dollars on incarceration instead of healthcare in the middle of a global pandemic unconscionable.This proposal is completely unsubstantiated as it is not based on any known documentation, official analysis, report, or court order. Do the right thing! Take measures to further reduce the jail population and dedicate the proposed $85 million to meeting the immediate needs of our frontline public health workers and unhoused neighbors. Vote NO on Item 8. Our county residents and public health workers will thank you. Help us stop this critical waste of resources and encourage your friends and neighbors to do so too. Let’s send the message that they can’t sneak this by while we are stuck at home!

In Struggle,
Tash Nguyen & The Audit Ahern Coalition
Restore Oakland Program Coordinator