If you’re with a community organization, faith group, labor union or any other kind of association, please sign on to this letter here.
Dear Supervisor Chan, Carson, and Valle,
We wanted to send you a quick note of gratitude for your decisions to approve the recommendations put forward by the county’s Ad Hoc Committee on Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI). We know that your decision was not an easy one and that there is still much work to be done. However, we believe that your vote will expand possibilities for better, more effective emergency and disaster response in Alameda County. We also believe that this sets a precedent for other counties and cities across the country.
While much of the conversation, public testimony, and advocacy has called for an end to Urban Shield—and the divisive and problematic values and impacts embedded within it—we have also taken much effort to advocate what we’re for: A whole community, inclusive approach that will give our first responders, public institutions, and communities the best chance to respond, save lives, and rebuild if disaster or emergencies strike. You brought this issue to a public setting and built venues, such as the 2017 Task Force on Urban Shield and the Ad Hoc Committee, where the input of first responders, community health experts, and community leaders could be heard, their expertise considered, and their energies put to work reshaping how funding is used. We thank you for this not only because this pulled decision-making and implementation out of the shadows, but because it also sets us on a solid footing for the progress that still needs to be made. As you know, it is the most marginalized and vulnerable communities that will endure the most when emergencies happen. This is why we are so invested in making sure training and response is expanded and improved. We hope that we can continue to work with you and the Board. We look forward to supporting you and to taking bold steps forward. Thank you for your leadership.
California Nurses Association
Public Health Justice Collective
Stop Urban Shield Coalition
American Friends Service Committee
Arab Resource and Organizing Center
Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area
Justice Council of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland
Rev. Michael Yoshii, Sr. Pastor at Buena Vista United Methodist Church
Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center