(Last Updated On: June 28, 2020)

Press Conference: In Midst of Mounting Pressure and Day of Action, Oakland Council President Kaplan to Reopen Budget Vote; Commit to Join Bas, Labor, Community to Defund Police

Oakland, Ca — Today, Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan will join a press conference of labor and community organizations near her home to commit to reopen the city budget, fund vital life affirming programs, and defund the police. After weeks of unprecedented protest and five days of advocacy after the narrow, rushed, controversial initial passage of Oakland’s City Budget, Kaplan will announce today a plan for Tuesday’s council meeting to “reconsider” the budget and reallocate resources from the Oakland Police Budget to community programs.

The Defund the Police Coalition, a broad alliance of community organizations will move forward as planned and hold a massive car caravan from the Port of Oakland to the mayor’s and city councilmembers’ houses in response to the pro-police budget proposal they advanced last week, over the cries of thousands demanding they defund the police and invest in community services. The goal of the caravan, and of a full page ad in Saturday’s SF Chronicle that protestors will deliver to the mayor and council, is to raise awareness with Oakland voters about the dishonorable actions of their councilmembers, encourage them to register and vote for the Defund Police, Refund our Communities agenda in the coming election.

Press conference details:

Who: Oakland Community, Labor, and Faith Organizations and President Rebecca Kaplan

When: 11:30 am Sunday June 28th

Where: Eve’s Waterfront, 15 Embarcadero West, Oakland, CA, 94607

Action Details Include:

Oakland Port Starting Point:

Who: Coalition To Defund the Police

When: 2pm Sunday June 28th

Where: Various berths at the Port of Oakland

West Oakland Action:

Where: 32nd st just west of Telegraph, Oakland

When: 3pm

On site press contact: Saabir Lockett 510.987.6987

Oakland Hills Action:

Where: Corner of Hanly and Oakmore

When: Approx 3 pm

On site press contact: Pete Woiwode 734.709.1789

Fruitvale Action:

Where: Fruitvale and E. 17th St.

When: Approx 3pm

On site press contact: George Galvis 510.689.7350

East Oakland Action:

Where: Campus Drive, between Crystal Ridge and Fairhill

When: Approx 3:15 pm

On site press contact: Kimi Lee 213.864.1744

Visuals: Massive Car Caravan, street murals, signs, banners, musicians, etc.

Led by the Anti Police-Terror Project, the sprawling “Defund the Police Coalition” is planning Sunday’s action to let the city councilmembers, who steamrolled a status quo budget maintaining allocation of almost half the general funds to police, know that Time Is Up for Justice.

These City Council members, without prior notice to the rest of the Council or the public, rammed through a budget that pours hundreds of millions of dollars into Oakland Police, while cutting funds from Parks, Recreation, and Youth Development, and dismantling Human Services for the unhoused.

The preliminary budget, pushed forward by the so-called “equity caucus”, which was authored by Councilmembers Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Loren Taylor, Noel Gallo and Larry Reid, was sprung on the city council and the public with less than 24 hours notice. It was forced through the preliminary vote with elements that were received after the meeting had begun, over the clear mandate from hours of unanimous public testimony to defund the police.

Despite misleading rhetoric to the contrary, the proposal will divert less than 1% of funding from policing, anticipates cuts to vital services, and does little to further public safety in Oakland.

Today’s multi-pronged car caravan will stage at five different locations at the Port of Oakland, outlined below, and caravan to Libby Schaaf’s and three councilmembers’ homes: McElhaney, Taylor, and Gallo.

Here’s the list of assembly locations at the Port.

1. Mcelhaney: Middle Harbor Shoreline Park

2. Schaaf: Berths 55-56 SSA/Oakland International Container Terminal

3. Gallo: Berths 57-59 Oakland International Container Terminal

4. Taylor: Berths 60-63 SSA/Matson

Saturday, the Defund the Police Coalition published a full page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle with over 120 organizations ranging from city worker unions to health workers to the national Sierra Club, condemning the undemocratic preliminary budget vote and telling Oakland City Hall, “Your time is up.” A parallel ad, detailing the coalition’s vision of a safe, prosperous Oakland, will run to today.

Each caravan is planning to hand deliver copies of the ad to the mayor and councilmembers, accompanied by live music and mural-painting.

Hi-Res Photos, livestream available after the event.

Hashtags: #DefundOPD #DefundthePolice #DefendBlackLife #YourTimeIsUp #Drive4Justice

Handles: @aptpaction @oaklandrising @calorganize @bayrisingaction

Rebecca Kaplan

By Rebecca Kaplan

Rebecca Kaplan is Oakland's 3-Term At-Large Councilmember


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