On February 26th, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors will be voting on recommendations that call for community-centered, demilitarized emergency preparedness in the Bay Area. Come urge them to vote yes, and let them hear you before the 26th!
Tuesday, February 26th
1221 Oak St, Fifth Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
How We Got Here
Last September, we held a powerful rally outside the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office during what was the final Urban Shield war games training. The rally corresponded with the People’s Climate Mobilization, and centered the importance of fighting militarization and building community strength and resilience in the face of the increasing natural disasters our planet is facing.
Since then, and into this year, an Alameda County Ad-Hoc Committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors has met and finalized a report for what disaster preparedness in the Bay Area can and should look like without Urban Shield. The committee has provided powerful recommendations to the Board of Supervisors geared toward community-based emergency preparedness, de-escalation, and demilitarized disaster response. The recommendations include:
- Eliminating SWAT teams and competition from emergency preparedness exercises
- Eliminating the weapons expo that puts private interests and weapons manufacturers above the goals of whole community preparedness
- Ensuring that the majority of people responsible for implementing exercises are from the key disciplines of Fire and Emergency Managers, as well as community organizations serving vulnerable populations, rather than most being law enforcement
- Changing the name “Urban Shield” for exercises
- Dedicating $5 million of funding for the Health Care Services Agency and Social Services Agency to carry out emergency preparedness training and exercises
As we anticipated, Sheriff Ahern is in denial about losing the fight for Urban Shield and is scrambling. This is business as usual for the Sheriff – to attempt to completely ignore decisions made by the Board of Supervisors that were the result of community organizing.
Yet the Stop Urban Shield Coalition has built power, and the Sheriff will not succeed – when we act to protect these gains. As both common sense and evidence shows, the violence of policing will never create healthy and resilient communities, but is rather a public health threat. Let’s be ready to defend our tremendous victory this year, and build the demilitarized, community-centered alternative to Urban Shield!
Take Action and Call Your Supervisor!
Please make your call before February 26th. If you don’t know which Supervisor’s district you live in, you can find out here. Below is a sample script you can use – we *highly encourage* you to personalize the script while keeping to the Stop Urban Shield Coalition’s main message.
How to Contact:
District 1: Supervisor Haggerty – (510) 272-6691, ask for Josh Thurman
District 2: Supervisor Valle – (510) 272-6692, ask for Chris Miley
District 3: Supervisor Chan – (510) 272-6693, ask for Dave Brown
District 4: Supervisor Miley – (510) 670-3691, ask for Erin Armstrong
District 5: Supervisor Carson – (510) 272-6695, ask for Shahida Lacy
Thank you for your leadership in taking steps to end the divisive and harmful Urban Shield program. Now is the chance for Alameda County to proactively design and implement disaster preparedness programs that are effective, humane, and community-centered. The recommendations that have been approved by the Ad Hoc Committee are a much needed step in the right direction. These include:
- Eliminating SWAT teams and competition from the exercises
- Eliminating the weapons expo that puts weapons manufacturers and private interests above the goals of whole community preparedness
- Dedicating resources for the Public Health Department to conduct emergency preparedness exercises.
- Getting read of the notoriously toxic Urban Shield label