ACT in Action
“I always thought that my vote didn’t count,” says Catherine Smith, ACT phone banker. “All my life I’ve been told that my vote is not going to matter, that they already have it figured out who and what is going to win,” adds Denise Thorne. “Through this work I’ve learned that your vote does count.” Both Catherine and Denise are excited to vote for the first time in their lives.
“Do you know Socrates’ Allegory of the Cave?” Reggie asks. He used this story to explain how we can be imprisoned by the limitations of our own thoughts. “There’s more to life than what’s in front of us.”
Sign the petition. As we endeavor to equip our Sacramento Community Policing Commission with the power needed to ensure the transparency and accountability of law enforcement, we have provided the City Council with our recommendations for changes to the Sacramento Community Policing Commission. Read the list of recommendations here.
Jamie Savoy has registered 239 voters since our voter registration campaign began in July! Jamie has used the hard lessons of the challenges of her life, along with her experience in customer service to develop her successful approach to voter registration.
To Edwin Valdez, turning 21 this month meant a lot more than just meeting the legal drinking age.
It meant he could finally sponsor his undocumented immigrant Mexican parents for legal residency. The Sierra College student and North Highlands resident, a U.S.-born citizen, said he prayed as he drove to school on his birthday, asking God to “make it happen” when he petitioned for his parents’ green cards.
So Valdez was dismayed when that same day, on Aug. 2, President Donald Trump announced his support for a bill that would overhaul an immigration process that has long favored family members of legal residents and citizens. The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, introduced this February by Republican senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, would halve the flow of legal immigrants into the country and prioritize more skilled visa seekers with a merit-based point system.
Those who support bringing Advance Peace to Sacramento argue the current approach isn’t working. Les Simmons, a pastor and activist in south Sacramento, said many of those who work in the city’s most violent neighborhoods think it’s smart to go after triggermen in new ways.
“You can’t arrest your way out of this problem,” said Simmons, who attended the community meeting with Boggan.
The Sacramento Immigration Coalition has trained about 60 volunteers to serve as legal observers who will take video and notes during any Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions reported to the group’s 24-hour hotline. Observers also will provide detainees with contact information for local attorneys.
“After the calls we’ve been receiving, we want to change the message,” said Edwin Valdez, a member of Sacramento Area Congregations Together and the response program’s coordinator. “Yes, it’s an emergency hotline, but we’re also here to help.”
As members of the Sacramento Community Reinvestment Coalition, a broad-based group of community organizations, we urge supervisors to reject the old model of public safety based on incarceration and punishment. This model fills our prisons while doing next to nothing to either prevent individuals from getting caught up in the criminal justice system or to rehabilitate those that do. It’s a waste of taxpayer money, and out of touch with the values of our community.
Instead, supervisors must support better schools, affordable housing, access to health care (including mental health services) and broader access to economic opportunities. These are investments that will truly make our community safer by giving all our residents the chance to thrive. To be truly effective, these services must be community-based rather than provided through the law enforcement system.
After meeting Boggan on Monday, Pastor Les Simmons, a Sacramento Area Congregations Together board member who was active in Ceasefire, said the city should invest in Advance Peace because it comprehensively focuses on the 1 percent responsible for much of the violence. ACT lead organizer Danielle Williams called the program a community-driven strategy and urged the city to “put its money where it’s mouth is.” “Law enforcement is not the solution,” she added in a statement.
Sacramento is interviewing potential police chiefs this week, moving quickly on a pivotal hire intended to fix a department plagued by community mistrust, internal upheaval and deep discord with city leaders.
The new chief will walk into a tough job – attempting to navigate a thin line between anger from rank-and-file officers and calls for continued reforms from community members and some elected officials.
“We’re at a turning point,” said Brent Meyer, a Sacramento police officer and current vice president of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the statewide law enforcement lobbying group. “It’s a really difficult time to do this job, so we need to find someone who is going to do it right."
Depending on whom you ask, Sacramento police have one of two problems that will be dropped in the new chief’s lap.
Some, including the police union and department personnel, say they are a maligned force beleaguered by bad press and low morale. They say they’re desperate for a leader who can advocate for officers and effectively reshape public perception without resorting to unneeded reforms.
Others, including leaders in African American and faith communities, say the Sacramento Police Department is a good-old-boy agency reluctantly forced toward transparency and accountability in the past year by high-profile confrontations caught on video and the resulting community outrage. They want a chief committed to change.
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento Police Department has unveiled their plan to outfit every officer with a body camera by the end of September.
“There is a large activator button here in the front,” explained Officer Matt McPhail during a demonstration on Monday.
The body cameras are currently worn by 180 officers, but each of the roughly 700 officers with the department will soon have a camera as part of their equipment.
A Sacramento pastor is pleading with his congregants to return to church this Sunday after a recent visit from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents sparked fears of deportations.
In a series of videos posted this week to the church’s Facebook account, Pastor Alex Vaiz sought to calm his parishioners worries.
“One of your rights is going to church,” he said. “Immigration cannot in any way enter a church and disturb the peace in any way and arrest anyone .… Don’t be afraid to come and return again to your church. You have the right to be here.”
Whether his flock shows up to the Vida Church Sacramento this weekend remains to be seen. But until then, Vaiz is demanding that immigration officials stay off the church’s property.