By Anti Police-Terror Project
June 24, 2021, Oakland, CA
Since the murder of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART station , the Anti Police-Terror Project has fought to redefine public safety in the City of Oakland. Today’s vote in support of Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas’s budget to cut police spending and fund crucial social services shows Oakland’s commitment as a progressive city to support policies that actually keep us safe.
We applaud Council Member Nikki Fortunato Bas and Council Member Carroll Fife’s leadership in standing with the people of Oakland and pushing back against Mayor Schaaf’s blank check for OPD. This historic budget ensures a comprehensive audit of the Oakland Police Department and a thorough examination of positions that could be civilianized, moved out of OPD, or a combination of the two.
While more work must be done to strengthen our public services, build affordable housing, and fund police alternative programs such as MACRO and MH First to ensure people who need help or are going through crises get the help that they need, today, City Council gave much-needed hope to the organizers, mental health advocates, faith leaders, and working families across the city working to defund the police and invest in community.
By prioritizing issues like homeless services, housing, good jobs, parks and recreation, and sanitation, Oakland is tackling the challenges that were exacerbated by the pandemic with a holistic, comprehensive approach, not the failed approach of Mayor Libby Schaaf of reckless and unaccountable police spending.
“Although cutting $18 million in police spending is a long way from the 50% the city promised, this is an important step in the right direction. This vote is an important win for the movement to reallocate police resources and reinvest in the People of Oakland. We will continue this effort to defund OPD until our campaign goals are met.” said James Burch, Policy Director of the Anti Police-Terror Project.
For over six years, the Anti Police-Terror Project has been organizing to move forward with a plan to reimagine public safety, defund the Oakland Police Department by 50% and reinvest in the community.