Dear Bay Area Community,
We are your neighbors, representing over 100 community, faith, and labor organizations and small businesses who care deeply about Oakland, and we are inviting you to say their names in remembrance with us:
George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade.
Rayshard Brooks. Sahleem Tindle. Sean Monterrosa.
Kayla Moore. Steven Taylor. Erik Salgado. Oscar Grant.
On the streets, in our homes, in the media, the names of murdered Black and Brown people echo, with “Defund Police” and “Defend Black Lives” ringing out in return.
But school’s out, jobs are scarce, and how are we going to pay our rent next week? For so many of us in this pandemic and recession, the choice is clear: take action to defend Black life and participate in the most transformative social uprising in a generation.
Children in our city deserve lush parks, healthy food, and the education that prepares them to build their dreams. Our teachers, nurses, and bus drivers deserve wages that help their families thrive. Everyone deserves a roof over their heads. Instead, Oakland City Hall prioritizes policing that terrorizes and harms our Black and Brown children and neighborhoods. In fact, right now, the Oakland Police are facing yet another use of force lawsuit for firing tear gas and rubber bullets at youth during the Oakland Tech High School march.
For decades, funding for the Oakland Police has grown to dominate nearly half of our city’s budget, displacing resources from essential programs and vital services for everyday people. And while City Hall will have us believe that there is no alternative, it is clear we have been led astray.
We, The People of Oakland, proposed a new deal to City Hall that is specific, concrete, and provides immediate relief and community safety, without cages and guns. Remove $150 million from funding for the Oakland Police. Invest that money into life-affirming programs. This is the Black New Deal, and we need it now.
In an appalling move this week, five city council members rammed through an anti-democratic budget proposal from the self-proclaimed “equity caucus,” without prior notice to their council colleagues nor us, their constituents. Their dishonorable budget 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. This so-called “equity budget” will divert less than 1% of funding from policing and does little to further public safety in Oakland.
Councilmembers Gallo, Reid, Taylor, McElhaney and Kaplan made a choice to stand on the wrong side of history and betray The People of Oakland.
Full of false promises, each made a mockery of the last four weeks of protests, thousands of direct advocacy calls and emails, police commission recommendations, hundreds of unanimous public comments, and many years of organizations advocating for a city budget that truly invests in Black and Brown futures.
But we will not be silenced, and we will not allow democracy to be trumped by a morally vacant City Council incapable of leading the change we need. Our demands will grow louder.
Join us in declaring to Oakland City Hall, “Your Time is Up!” and let’s fight for a brighter and more just future, together.
OUR FUTURE IS NOW
The People of Oakland
Mark your calendars!
The City Council will meet July 21st at 1:30 PM. Look back here for more details.
Anti Police-Terror Project
Community Ready Corps
Black Organizing Project
Ella Baker Center
Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy
Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice
Arab Resource Organizing Center
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Mujeres Unidas Y Activas
Causa Justa :: Just Cause
Center for Story-based Strategy
Black Youth 4 People's Liberation
1000 Grandmothers for Future Generations
13th Floor Dance Theater
AAPIs for Civic Empowerment
ACLU of Northern California
Addie l. Kogan Psychotherapy
Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA)
Bay Area Asylum Support Coalition (BAASC)
Bend The Arc: Jewish Action Bay Area
Berkeley Free Clinic
Blissful Beasts Pet Services
California Donor Table
California Nurses Association
CALMA-Collective Action for Laborers, Migrants & Asylum Seekers
Center for Cultural Power
Center for Political Education
Center for Tactical Performance
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists-Northern Ca
Codepink Women for Peace
Communist Workers League
Communities for a Better Environment
Community Democracy Project
CWA Local 9415
Design Action Collective
Diablo Rising Tide
Do No Harm Coalition
East Bay Alliance For A Sustainable Economy
East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative
East Point Peace Academy
Eastlake United for Justice
First Congregational Church of Oakland
Friends of the Earth
Gig Workers Rising
Global Movement Network
Greetings, from Queer Mountain
Greg Hodge (still confirming)
Health Justice Commons
ILWU, Juneteenth Committee
Jewish Voice for Peace - Bay Area
Lead to Life
Love and Justice in the Streets
Making Change Media
Never Again Action - Bay Area
Noticed Media LLC
Oakland Climate Action Coalition
Oakland Comedy Festival
Oakland Yard Wine Shop
Oakland Youth Advisory Commissioners
Parent Voices - Oakland
Parents United for Public Schools
Pastor Bay Area Christian Connection
Public Health Justice Collective
Senior and Disability Action
Sunrise Movement Bay Area
Survival Media Agency
The Black Bay Area
The Wildfire Project
Together We Stand
Trial By Fire Solutions
United for Respect
University of California, Santa Cruz COLA Strikers
White Noise Collective
Women's Foundation California
Workers World Party - Bay Area
Youth vs Apocalypse
Priority Africa Network
Pastor Darnell Hammock, New Life Community Church
Dr. George Cummings, Imani Community Church
Pastor Demetrius Edwards, 23rd Avenue Church of God
Pastor Michael McBride, Way Church in Berkeley
Pastor Zach Carey, True Vine Ministries
Pastor Ben McBride
Amber Akemi Piatt, MPH
Angie Sijun Lou
B. Yuki Burton
Brian K. Woodson, Sr.
C. Njoube Dugas
Darien R Acero
Dr. Varun Kejriwal Goel
Ernesto Jose Arevalo
Eve Marilyn Wheatley
I Wayan Budiana
Jack Ryan Mitchell
Janice Von Itter
Joshua Kahn Russell
Julia Rhodes Davis
Kameryn L Sanchez
Kathleen H. Matz
Keith D. Brown
Lourdes G Martinez
Marie Arthur Eggebroten
Phoenix Love Armenta
Rachel Gonzales Vernon
Rafael Vincent Botello
Rev. Dr. Liza J. Rankow
Rupa Marya, MD
Seth Newton Patel
Shadia Fayne Wood
Tia Katrina Taruc-Myers
Yousef J Al-Shomaimri