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

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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

Call to action on Santa Rita jail

Please call and share with your networks! There are still about 2,400 prisoners inside Santa Rita Jail, many of whom are seniors and immune compromised. It’s only a matter of time before COVID 19 enters Santa Rita Jail. This is a nightmare waiting to happen!

DA O’Malley & Sheriff Ahern have a lot of power to release people. Join us today in calling DA O’Malley.

Please like and share our video posts on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
Here’s a link to the video so you can download and share on your social media account.

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Defund Hate (Indivisible) events

By September 30 — just a few weeks from now — Congress needs to decide where to appropriate government dollars for next year’s budget. And right now, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is making a backdoor play to steal money from other federal organizations — including hundreds of millions of dollars from FEMA, the agency that coordinates disaster response efforts — and use it to continue to fund their hateful and cruel actions with no oversight. This is abhorrent. Full stop. And we need to get as loud as we can to ensure that ICE does not get any more money to fund their racist operation. Can we count on you to stand up for immigrants and refugees during our Defund Hate Week of Action? Here’s the details about the event(s) happening closest to you: What: “We all Belong Here”- ISF Defund Hate Day of Action
When: Friday, September 13th, 4:30 p.m. 
Where: Harry Bridges Plaza, in Front of the Ferry Building, Embarcadero, SF, San Francisco, CA
You can RSVP Here.What: Border to Border With Love Collage & Action Night #DefundHate
When: Tuesday, September 10th, 5:30 p.m. 
Where: IFPTE Local 21 Oakland Office, 1440 Broadway, Suite 610, Oakland, CA
You can RSVP Here.Indivisible is an official member of the Defund Hate Coalition, and we know that stopping this flow of money is critical to stopping Trump’s racist and hateful anti-immigrant agenda. This is a really important place to put our people-power. We hope you’ll join us.In solidarity,
Indivisible Team 

P.S. If you aren’t available for this event, check out our Defund Hate Toolkit for some other important ways you can take action to stand with immigrants and refugees. 

Rock the Congress East Bay Sep 7 event

I just learned of this super relevant, promising event: Apologies for the messed up formatting, but I didn’t know how to insert the flyer, so just tried to copy the text.

A Day of Progressive Organizing to Win in 2020

September 7, 2019
Berkeley City College
2050 Center St., Berkeley, CA 94704

Rock the Congress engages new and experienced activists and facilitates collaboration among
progressive grassroots groups leaders to win elections. In the 2018 cycle, RTC held successful
events in Marin, San Francisco, and Napa. Now Rock the Congress is coming to the East Bay.
WHAT DO WE WANT TO ACCOMPLISH?
✔ To inspire all participants with the strength of our diversity and the power of our
unity as we head for victory in 2020
✔ To engage new activists, especially youth
✔ To provide opportunities for seasoned activists to deepen their commitment by
expanding their network
✔ To recharge grassroots event organizers and group leaders with learnings from
the 2018 electoral cycle, dialogue about work in progress, and calls to action for
victory in 2020
HOW WILL WE DO THAT?
✔ Keynote presentations, panel discussions, and breakouts featuring nationally
recognized leaders in electoral politics, issue-based advocacy, and more
✔ Content focused on:
o Diverse strategic approaches among key movement groups (including
Swing Left, Sister District, All on the Line, Flip the West, Indivisible,
Reclaim Our Vote, 350 Bay Area, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, and
more) to help us achieve our shared goals to expand the House majority,
flip the Senate, and flip the White House
o Local efforts to engage those eligible to vote, in CA and nationally
BRING ROCK THE CONGRESS EAST BAY TO LIFE!
Please contact Ogie Strogatz (ogstrogatz@gmail.com) or

Kook Huber (kook4ofa@gmail.com).

Call for support to end private prisons and detention centers in CA

The Dignity Not Detention coalition sent this request

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Here is how you can join us in demanding California’s complete divestment from companies who profit off the incarceration of our communities!

Sponsor Needed for Guatemalan Trans Girl–no housing or financial support involved

This is an opportunity to help an asylum seeker get out of detention and does not involve housing or any financial or practical commitment. Please consider helping out. Reply directly to Esperanza. Julie




From: Esperanza Cuautle <advocate@pangealegal.org>
Date: Wed, Jun 26, 2019 at 1:56 PM
Subject: Do you know anyone who may be able/willing to sponsor a Trans girl?
To: 

Hi everyone,
I hope this email finds you all well. I, alongside another community organizer, are putting together a bond packet to request a bond with the immigration court for “Brittany”. She is an immigrant from Guatemala and is currently detained in Texas. Brittany doesn’t have an attorney, so she is representing herself. 
Brittany has a friend in Daly City who can house her upon release, however, the friend can’t sponsor Brittany because she doesn’t have legal status either. We had a volunteer who initially offered to sponsor Brittany but has gone MIA.
Hence, I’m reaching out to community members to ask if there is someone out there who can sponsor Brittany. I want to disclose that being a sponsor for Brittany entails giving personal info to ICE, writing a letter of support stating the sponsor will make sure she attends all her hearings, and provide tax returns to show ability to sustain Brittany. However, the sponsor won’t need to cover any of Brittany’s expenses because she will be moving in with her friend in Daly City. If bond is granted, I will help Brittany’s friend fundraise to pay the bond.
Let me know if anyone comes to mind who can help or help Brittany by spreading the word to your networks. I’m available via phone or email if any potential sponsors have additional questions before committing. Thank you so much in advance for any help you can provide!
Warmly,Esperanza__________________________Esperanza Cuautle VelazquezDirector of Operations Pangea Legal Services 
350 Sansome St, Suite 650, San Francisco, CA 94104

855 Lenzen Avenue, San José, CA 95126
Office: (415) 254-0475  Fax: (415) 593-5335