The latest newsletter from Oakland District 2 Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas starts with this message to her constituents in the wake of the latest police murder of a black young man, Daunte Wright, and a Latino kid, Adam Toledo, in America:
My heart is broken with the news of yet more police killings of our Black brothers and sisters. The systems responsible for the deaths of 20-year-old Daunte Wright and 13-year-old Adam Toledo were not created by accident, and it will never be acceptable to consider the actions of these officers “accidental”.
I am so angry and tired of traffic stops and basic human life – going to the store, exercising, playing in the park, sleeping — turning into executions for Black people. I urge us to take care of ourselves and each other, address anti-Blackness in its endless forms, listen with love and humility to our Black community’s needs, and fight for all people to be free.
These tragedies remind us that the work to reimagine public safety and restore critical human services must continue to be top priority. I ask for your support on two pieces of legislation I’m introducing at Tuesday’s Council meeting to support state efforts to better protect and serve our most vulnerable communities:
1] Improving Conditions to Elect Progressive Sheriffs
I’m bringing forth a resolution to support SB 271 (Weiner), The Sheriff Diversity And Democracy Act, which would allow voters to choose from a broader pool of candidates for Sheriff with more diverse backgrounds and skill sets — ideally favoring de-escalation, mental, and health care — and greater accountability.
SB 271 restores California’s long-standing eligibility criteria for candidates seeking the office of Sheriff so that all registered voters can run, rather than only those with law enforcement backgrounds.
From our state’s founding in 1850 until 1989 — 139 years — California operated under what SB 271 proposes: anyone could run for Sheriff. But in 1989, the law changed to allow only law enforcement officers to run for Sheriff. This restriction dramatically shrinks the pool of eligible candidates, and effectively eliminates accountability for Sheriffs since so few people can challenge them for reelection. This dysfunction plays out in California, with some Sheriffs refusing to enforce state law around immigration or refusing to enforce public health orders around COVID-19.
Thank you to Secure Justice, the Wellstone Democratic Club and the many criminal justice, civil and human rights advocates who’ve organized around and supported this bill. Read more in Oaklandside. View my resolution here. Share E-Comments here.
 Ending ICE Transfers in California
I’m bringing forth a resolution to support AB 937 (Carrillo), The Vision Act, which would end ICE transfers from our local jails and state prisons, ensuring that local law enforcement and other city / county agencies are not engaged with ICE.
Our immigrant and refugee families in the Bay Area have endured immense suffering due to the Trump Administration’s deportation efforts, and we must create stronger statewide protections so that brothers and sisters who’ve served their time and rehabilitated are not subject to inhumane and unsanitary conditions in detention centers and torn from loved ones and all stability.
Thank you to the powerful organizations based in District 2 — Center for Empowering Refugees & Immigrants / CERI, Asian Prisoner Support Committee / APSC, and AYPAL — and many others for leading this charge in the broader work to end systemic racial injustice and mass incarceration.
Thank you, Council President Bas.
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