FUND CARE NOT CAGES WEEK OF ACTION
Decarcerate Alameda County is calling on Supervisor Richard Valle to re-open last year’s $106 million jail funding decision, and support shifting $43 million from the sheriff’s office in the proposed 2022 budget towards funding mental health and housing. The coalition is also calling for $122 million in budget investments to restore mental health services from community-based providers. Rally and speak out on public comment throughout this week to pass a #CareFirst budget:
County Budget 101 Training
Sheriff Ahern is seeking $61 million in additional funding to pad his half billion dollar budget, while community based mental health providers are being asked to cut $9 million as the need for critical mental health supports are at a record high.
Our annual County Budget 101 Training was be held on Saturday, June 5th from 11:00am-12:30pm. Watch and use handouts to learn budget basics and strategize how we can get our budget demands met: moving money away from the sheriff and jail, and into life-affirming resources.
DAC's Care First Resolution Unanimously Adopted by Alameda County Board of Supervisors
After powerful testimony by family members, providers and advocates from Decarcerate Alameda County, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the Care First Resolution on Tuesday, May 25th - the anniversary of the police murder of George Floyd that spurred nationwide protests. This is a crucial first step in ending the mental health crisis in Alameda County. We are celebrating this win that you all helped make possible!
While the proposed community-partnered implementation task force was originally stripped from the resolution, it was re-included by Supervisor Keith Carson yesterday and unanimously adopted to meet Care First’s goals: to end jailing people with mental health and substance use needs, and build out community based models of care.
However, the 25-member Care First Task Force that passed included the addition of four law enforcement agencies and eliminated the Free Our Kids coalition and DAC from the table. Our two coalitions are led by BIPOC organizations with lived experiences who are leading the organizing that made this resolution possible! We will keep fighting for decision-making power, but yesterday's vote was a huge paradigm shift in organizing the county towards prioritizing care over punishment.
Thanks to everyone who showed up and advocated for this! Let’s celebrate and make sure Alameda County makes budget decisions this June that actualize Care First. Read the full press release on the vote.
*Updated May 26, 2021
Surviving COVID-19 in Santa Rita Jail
Check out this brief explainer video about what's been happening — and not happening — in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
DAC Small Victory: No Cuts to Healthcare, Defund the Sheriff
Decarcerate Alameda County (DAC) organized to win significant budget demands this week—preventing cuts to healthcare and permanently cutting 12 sheriff positions. The County also cut $11.9M to public protections departments (sheriff, district attorney, probation, fire, and public defender). The Board of Supervisors voted on November 10, 2020, to close a $72.9 million budget gap, resulting from reduced revenues from the State of California. The sheriff's department took the biggest hit in cuts and we know this would not have happened without the months of calls, mobilizations, and public engagement from coalition members of DAC. Thank you for fighting with us! Let's keep organizing to build a robust community-base mental health care system that prioritizes care over punishment.