Deadline: ASAP –
On June 7, 2020 a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged to disband the police department that the officers who murdered George Floyd belonged to. We’re many miles away, but perhaps you, like us, are looking for ways to force change on police departments and police unions that have been responsible for anti-Black bias and violence – and to prevent more from happening in the future.
There are efforts on local, state, and national levels to reduce police use of force, increase the ability to investigate law enforcement, and reform police departments with training and accountability. Read on for information, resources and call scripts to encourage your elected representatives to support legislation. These policy solutions are not the only path to change, many organizers and activists say reform is not enough when police departments, and police unions, are so large and powerful that they can control the narrative. This is just one aspect of a greater wave of change we can – and must – participate in.
What You Can Do:
On a local level:
Indivisible East Bay is following the lead of East Bay organizations at the forefront of this work, such as the Anti-Police Terror Project, the Urban Peace Movement, and the Black Organizing Project, as well as Indivisible National leadership, in calling for defunding police departments. You may be familiar with this term by now, but if not – it means diverting funds from policing to social services, education, and community-centered safety and crisis intervention efforts. We strongly recommend this excellent article about why “defund the police” is an important part of advocating for change at this time, and why it’s so important for us – especially those of us who are white allies – to support it.
Police departments are funded on the local level, so depending on where you live, advocating for defunding probably means engaging with your city’s Mayor and City Council.
On the State Level:
AB-2054: The CRISES Act, currently in the Appropriations Committee of the California State Assembly, would fund community alternatives to police crisis response. You can email Appropriations Committee chairs using this webpage. East Bay Assemblymembers Rob Bonta (AD-18) and Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (AD-16) are both on the Appropriations Committee, so if you live in their districts, please call them now to let them know you support this important piece of legislation. The bill will of course eventually need the support of the whole Assembly, so if you’re a constituent of Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (AD-15) or Bill Quirk (AD 20), get a head start by calling them now.
What to say:
My name is _____, my zip code is ____, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. I’m calling in support of AB 2054 – the CRISES Act, because it would take a much-needed step toward funding community-oriented crisis intervention services. It’s great that community organizations help vulnerable populations in emergency situations, but it’s not enough. California needs to support these organizations. AB 2054 will help people get appropriate emergency services from trained professionals with connection to their communities. Please help vulnerable Californians in crisis by supporting this bill.
- Buffy Wicks: email; District: 510-286-1400; Capitol: 916-319-2015
- Rob Bonta: email; District: 510-286-1670; Capitol: 916-319-2018
- Rebecca Bauer-Kahan: email; Capitol (handles legislative calls): 916-319-2016; District: 925-328-1515
- Bill Quirk: Capitol: 916-319-2020; District 510-583-8818
On the National Level:
Representative Barbara Lee has introduced and/or signed on to several bills that could make much-needed changes to the existing police systems. Please thank her! Representatives Swalwell and DeSaulnier haven’t yet signed on to all of these bills; push them to do so.Table For PDF (2)
What to say:
If you’re in Rep. Lee’s district (CA-13):
My name is _____, my zip code is ____, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. I’d like to thank Rep. Lee for her support of critical police reform and accountability legislation. I also hope that Rep. Lee will support legislation allocating federal funding away from police and towards social programs that directly address the causes of crime and social inequality.
If you’re in Rep. DeSaulnier’s district (CA-11) or Rep. Swalwell’s district (CA-15):
My name is _____, my zip code is _______, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. I want to thank Rep. ____ for standing up against anti-Black violence and bias in this country and in police departments. I hope Rep. ____ will support the important current bills that are intended to force change on police departments and police unions that have been responsible for anti-Black bias and violence, and to prevent more from happening in the future. I also hope that Rep. __________ will support legislation allocating federal funding away from police and towards social programs that directly address the causes of crime and social inequality.
NOTE: If any of the bills in the table above are important to you, mention them by name and/or bill number and say you want your Representative to support them.