Prior to serving as District 6 representative, Councilmember Loren Taylor guided efforts to transform heavily regulated and bureaucratic industries including healthcare services, medical devices, utilities, and telecommunications. As co-chair of Oakland’s new Taskforce to Reimagine Public Safety, Taylor is applying his experience and expertise in disruptive innovation to transform Oakland’s Public Safety system. “We are undertaking a monumental task that will require the best of Oakland to come together and collectively reconstruct a system that better serves all Oaklanders. I am excited to leverage my past experiences and insights in this leadership role,” Taylor said.
In June, many Oaklanders called for the immediate defunding of Oakland’s police department by 50% with less than 3 weeks available for deliberation and planning prior to the City’s budget deadline. As he expressed in his July 13th Town Hall on Reimagining Public Safety, Councilmember Taylor agrees with the goal of shifting dollars from reactive and punitive police responses to invest more into proactive, preventive, and community empowering strategies. However, he advocated for a thoughtful and deliberate path forward that ensures improved safety and doesn’t risk worsening it. Part of Taylor’s proposal, adopted as part of the Council’s Equity Caucus’ approved mid-year budget amendments, included establishing a Taskforce for Reimagining Public Safety in Oakland.
In response to the urgency of the moment, Councilmember Taylor, his Co-chair Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas, and Interim Assistant City Administrator Jason Mitchell are aggressively preparing to kick off the taskforce in mid-September and guide it through the aggressive 9-month process that will deliver a bold, fact-based, community-informed recommendation to Council at the end of March 2021. While the timeline is aggressive, this urgent response is exactly what Taylor describes as necessary to capture the momentum of the past several months and improve the quality of life for all Oaklanders.
All community members who are interested in shaping Oakland’s enhanced public safety system (either as a member of the taskforce or of one of the advisory boards) are encouraged to apply via the application form – https://forms.gle/NPvWJjVqpUbqEYhV8. “If you would like to join us, please fill out the application and we will find a way for you to meaningfully contribute to this effort,” said Taylor. Community members can also email [email protected] with any questions about the taskforce or the overall initiative.
ABOUT THE REIMAGINING PUBLIC SAFETY TASKFORCE
The Reimagining Public Safety Taskforce is co-chaired by Councilmembers Taylor and Bas and facilitated by two organizations with a deep history in criminal justice reform – Policy Link and the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform.
The taskforce will consist of 17 active Oakland community members who bring relevant knowledge, experience, and expertise to further the goal to rapidly reimagine and reconstruct the public safety system in Oakland by developing a recommendation for Council consideration to re-allocate police funding to increase community safety through alternative responses. The taskforce will be supported by four advisory boards that will similarly be comprised of community members who are committed to thinking boldly about how Public Safety should be improved. The purpose of the taskforce’s Advisory Boards is to thoroughly analyze core content-areas to inform better decision-making by the task-force and ultimately the City Council. The time commitment for taskforce members is expected to be 10-12 hours per week while the commitment by advisory board members is expected to be 10-12 hours per month.
One taskforce member will be nominated by each City Councilmember, one by the Mayor, one from each of three public safety boards/commissions (the Public Safety and Services Violence Prevention Oversight Commission [SSOC], Community Policing Advisory Board [CPAB], and the Police Commission], one by the Budget Advisory Commission, and two from the Oakland Youth Advisory Commission. The remaining two seats will be jointly filled by two co-chairs (Councilmembers Taylor and Bas) based on any gaps in experience/ expertise that exist after other nominations are made. You can learn more about the taskforce, view the following website – https://www.oaklandca.gov/news/2020/reimagining-public-safety-taskforce.