Indivisible East Bay and the IEB CA-11 Team are urging voters to write in “No Confidence” in the June 5, 2018 primary race for Contra Costa County Sheriff. We join the “no confidence” movement against the incumbent, Sheriff David Livingston, who is running unopposed because progressive organizations were unable to locate someone qualified to run against him (California law requires that the candidate be in law enforcement).
Why spend time mobilizing a write-in campaign opposing Livingston when he’s sure to be re-elected? Groups working on immigration and racial, social and criminal justice issues — including Together We Will Contra Costa, the Contra Costa Racial Justice Coalition and El Cerrito Progressives — are using the write-in effort to educate people about the sheriff’s shameful history. The California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance is also actively mobilizing against Livingston and several other horrendous California sheriff candidates.
By spreading the word, organizers hope that more people won’t automatically vote for Livingston just because he’s the only candidate. A vote count that’s significantly lower than in his prior two elections can serve to alert him, and the county, that many disapprove of his actions. Groups are also using the campaign to build support for a recall election.
Learn more about Livingston in our prior articles. To give you a taste, here are some
- has a contract with ICE to hold immigrant detainees at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond;
- publishes release dates of those housed at the jail, making it easier for ICE to target immigrants, abusers to target victims of domestic violence, pimps to target sex workers who want to avoid them, etc.;
- has been charged with mistreatment of immigrant detainees at that facility;
- was one of six California sheriffs to meet with U.S.Attorney General Jeff Sessions in February 2017;
- successfully pushed for a jail expansion project that will cost $25 million in one-time county funds, plus an additional $5 million annually;
- punished the City of El Cerrito for its opposition to the jail expansion by backing out of a five-year deal to provide police dispatch service to the city;
- publicly asked the Board of Supervisors to disqualify Judge Diana Becton in her bid for appointment as interim District Attorney.
If you’re registered to vote in Contra Costa County, on your June 5 primary election ballot, below the box for David Livingston for Sheriff where it says ‘Write-in’ — fill in the bubble to the left and write ‘NO CONFIDENCE’ on the line.
What else can you do?
- May 23 and 30, 6-7:30 PM: talk to voters and pass out “No Confidence in CoCo Sheriff Livingston’ flyers with IEB and CA-11 Team members, and others, at El Cerrito Off the Grid. Info here.
- The Contra Costa Immigrant Rights Alliance asks people to call the Sheriff’s office at (925) 335-1500 to push them to stop publicizing the names and release dates of people getting out of jail.
- The Contra Costa Racial Justice Coalition’s Sheriff Work Group suggests contacting California Attorney General Becerra about his investigation of the West County Detention Facility and other California jails with ICE contracts. Here’s background information, contact numbers, and a sample script for telephone calls or letters.
- Sign California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance’s petition demanding that Sheriff Livingston stop violating SB 54 (the California sanctuary law) by publicly releasing the private information of immigrant inmates, including their release dates, and by allowing deputies to arrest, detain, or investigate people for violations of civil or criminal immigration laws.
- If you’re an Alameda County resident – or know any – check out Indivisible Berkeley’s similar effort targeting the Alameda County Sheriff: “Vote No Confidence in Sheriff Ahern.”
Know Your Sheriff scorecard, graphic by California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance
Ballot photo © Heidi Rand