A Huge Victory for Demilitarization in the Face of the Sheriff’s Threats
On Tuesday, the Stop Urban Shield coalition had a significant victory against the Sheriff and for community-centered preparedness! After we mobilized and provided hours of public comment in support of demilitarized emergency response, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors (BOS) voted to adopt nearly all of the recommendations for community-based, demilitarized disaster preparedness exercises for the Bay Area.
Among the powerful recommendations that were passed are:
- Dumping the name “Urban Shield” for any future exercises
- Eliminating SWAT deployment scenarios
- Getting rid of the weapons expo
- Eliminating any competition aspect, militarized or otherwise, from exercises
- Urges that timing of emergency preparedness exercises are sensitive to community concerns (addressing the fact that Urban Shield was always on the weekend of 9/11)
- Institute transparent and community-inclusive oversight that ensures these recommendations are implemented
This victory comes in the face of the sheriff attempting to counter-organize against the community and filling the room with law enforcement and proponents of Urban Shield. In an attempt to sabotage the years of work, and the democratic process put in place by the supervisors, he circulated a letter in the 11th hour claiming that the most important recommendations would go against the County’s standing contracts, and argued for them be rejected as a whole. However, due to our organizing, the Supervisors voted with the interests of the people.
We are excited to live and work in a County that has prioritized community-preparedness and demilitarization, and for all of us to participate on this new path towards health, safety, and well-being. Stay tuned for more ways stay engaged!
Joining Us in Writing a Note Thanking the Supervisors:
Dear Supervisor _________,
I am writing to thank you for your strong leadership on Tuesday the 26th in standing with Alameda County communities and approving the recommendations on disaster response exercises. Your commitment to demilitarized and inclusive emergency preparedness programs will truly contribute to building strong and resilient communities.
Keith Carson (District 5)
Nate Miley (District 4)
Wilma Chan (District 3)
Richard Valle (District 2)
- Direct email: Richard.Valle@acgov.org
- Legislative aides: Christopher.Miley@acgov.org & firstname.lastname@example.org