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.”
Pastor Les Simmons' South Sacramento Christian Church hosted Friday night's forum. He said the partnership between the Kings and community is "still being forged," but Friday was a step in the right direction.
Simmons said the forum was more than a "moment" but a commitment to seeing "equitable change."
"(The Kings) wanted to help sponsor tonight and bring the community together for some healing for dialogue to really lift up the youth voice," Simmons said. "But then there is a multiyear commitment that is developing to invest equity in our communities and continue to lift up the youth voice, as well as make that investment in accountability, particularly policing in our communities. What does that look like? What reform needs to happen that we all can collectively lead this movement and lift up together?"
Ryan McClinton, a community organizer with Sacramento Area Congregations Together, said the partnership with the Kings shows youth that the team "values their lives" beyond just their status as paying customers.
McClinton working with Kings helps facilitate building equity in the black community, with the hope of setting an example for how other sports franchises can invest in their local communities.
"It shouldn’t only happen in Sacramento," McClinton said. "It has to start in Sacramento because we have a chance to lead the nation in this massive change, this champion for change, if you will. But how does it carry over into other states across the country as well?"
"The culture shift that people in the community want to see comes down to voting," said Gabby Trejo, executive director of Sacramento ACT, a faith-based community-organizing group that tries to improve the relationship between the public and law enforcement. But, she said, "many people don't even know they get to elect their local DA."
This didn’t have to happen.
The first reports from California described a black man with a “tool bar” who had been breaking into cars. Footage of the incident doesn’t show this but picks up with officers chasing Stephon backyard where they shouted “gun.” Except it was a cell phone – there was no gun. Opening fire, they killed Stephon, a 22-year-old father of two.
Stephon’s family heard the shots, but they did not know it was the sound of their beloved grandson being killed. His grandmother has nightmares of his bloodied body, the last image she has of him. How will she heal from that? How will Stephon’s children and nieces and nephews and family heal? How will they make new memories that are not marred by blood?
Once again, we have arrived at a moment where our community stands with a grieving family in the gap left behind by the loss of a loved one. We call for accountability, transparency and justice to be carried out for this family and for this life that was taken from us all.
Once again, our community is angry and weary and traumatized. Communities like ours all over this country are angry and weary and traumatized.
Nearly one year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions sued California over its sanctuary legislation, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones was working behind the scenes to prevent its adoption, internal communications show.
Sacramento activists plan on targeting Sheriff Scott Jones with a protest Wednesday night over the department's contract with federal authorities to hold immigration detainees in a local jail.
The action comes the night before U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to deliver a "major" announcement about sanctuary jurisdictions while speaking at a law enforcement gathering in Sacramento. Sessions isn't giving details on what the announcement will be.
Carlos Montes-Ponce of Sacramento Area Congregations Together said the Wednesday event was meant to refocus the national immigration debate on local issues.