A Town Hall Meeting on Homelessness in Sacramento Statistics and Data – Prepared by Sacramento ACT

SEIU Local 1000

Sacramento Area Congregations Together

Loaves and Fishes

March 19, 2019

See the full report here.

Since 1991, Sacramento Area Congregations Together (Sacramento ACT) has been the public voice of the progressive faith community. Today, ACT’s 56 member congregations and the 60,000 families we represent draw on our shared faith values as we lift up voices that are often silenced in our community: youth, communities of color, immigrants, homeless residents and new voters.

Within ACT, subgroups of congregations work to improve education and safety in our community, increase access to healthcare, end the ‘school to prison pipeline’ and push for police accountability, eliminate homelessness and support human services, advocate for immigrants and refugees, and engage voters to vote their values.

We work tirelessly to urge the City and County of Sacramento to develop a comprehensive plan to end the crisis of homelessness. Because our region currently has no coordinated roadmap, the system is a navigational nightmare for those who are homeless and those who wish to help. Unconscionably high numbers of people are falling through the cracks. Often our work involves meeting with key elected officials or speaking before the city council or Board of Supervisors.

Everyone who is interested in working for system change is invited to join us!

Sacramento ACT Statement on Last Night's Protest and Arrests

March 5, 2019

Last night 200 people, many of them student leaders, gathered in East Sacramento for a non-violent protest in response to District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s decision to file no charges against the officers who killed Stephon Clark while she also defamed his character to support her lack of action.

The Sacramento Police Department responded with a massive, militarized show of force and arrested 84 protestors, including clergy, faith leaders and a journalist, after herding them onto a bridge.

Sacramento ACT condemns this police response in the strongest terms.  While faith leaders and community leaders have been preparing for protests with de-escalation and non-violent protest trainings, the Sacramento Police Department chose to appear with a disproportional show of force.  Protests will continue as the community gives voice to its anguish and pain over the ongoing deaths of black and brown community members at the hands of law enforcement. Where is the de-escalation on the part of the police?

We call on all people of good conscience and good faith to join us in speaking out for justice to our elected officials and lawmakers to demand change:

  • The officers who killed Stephon Clark should no longer be able to police our communities.

  • Empower our Police Commission to make disciplinary recommendations and restore their ability to review any and all policy that impacts Public Safety in our community.

  • The City Council should implement a higher standard for the use of deadly force that mirrors AB392 on a local level.

  • The City Council should lead the State conversation to raise the standard for the use of deadly force to that of AB392.




Most powerful at last night’s Board meeting were the voices and stories of high school students from throughout the District. Every single student in attendance demanded the Board acknowledge their negative and traumatic experiences with police officers on campus and reject the contract in order to find alternatives to policing. As Stephanie López Hernández, high school student at Luther Burbank and member of Brown Issues states, “Nearly all the research about police on campus shows that it undermines safety and harms students, but the Board could have simply listened to the voices of Black and Brown students here in their own District. We live it every single day. Voting to extend this contract is a betrayal of the trust Board members have tried to build with our communities. They were more concerned with temporary inconveniencing school administrators than the lifetime of trauma and criminalization that’s triggered when there are cops on campus. We need more counselors, more teachers, more support; not more cops.“

Sacramento ACT Theory of Change Research Report, November 2018

Read the complete report here.


In August of 2017, Sacramento ACT began a process to develop a new Theory of Change to guide our work for the next five years.  We formed a team that included board members, staff and leaders.  We designed questions for a research phase during which time we would seek to understand the political, economic and faith landscape of Sacramento, the major challenges facing our region, and the perception and role of ACT now and in the future.

The team conducted over 30 research meetings between September 2017 and March 2018 with public officials from both Sacramento city and county, representatives of 3 school districts, local activists and non-profits, members of the immigrant community, and representatives of the philanthropic, union, media, and business sectors.  We also met with ACT’s faith leader caucus, Local Organizing Committees, and brought findings for discussion to ACT leadership assemblies. This is the picture that emerged from our research.

Sacramento sits at a crossroads of identity. Will we become a city, county and region that prioritizes racial and economic equity, a region that is truly diverse with opportunities for all to participate?  Or will be become a region dominated by the demands of the privileged? Poised on the edge of our future, we face choices.  Sacramento can choose to become the city where there is inclusion of income diversity or it can push out current residents in favor of wealthier newcomers. Will Sacramento invest in all of its neighborhoods, with special attention to those who have experienced disinvestment?  Or will resources be concentrated in the downtown core?

In February 2018, Policy Link published two important reports on Sacramento whose findings support our research: Advancing Health Equity and Inclusive Growth in the Sacramento Region and Health Equity Now: Toward an All-In Sacramento

Reflections from a Clergy Ally


by The Rev. Dr. Mary E. Westfall

We who believe in freedom cannot rest

We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons

Is as important as the killing of white men, white mother’s sons

“Ella’s Song,” Sweet Honey in the Rock


Standing arm in arm with faith leaders in the shadow of the Convention Center on that bright Tuesday morning, tensions rippling through the air, I was reminded of how often white Christians have failed to show up, speak out, stand with, risk safety or reputation on behalf of People of Color.  With demonstrators at our backs and counter-protestors in front, I felt a compelling responsibility to stand firm, ignoring the rising fear in the pit of my stomach and the urge to be someplace else.  As the intensity increased I watched more and more blue-uniformed police fill the space around us. Those nearest our “line” were bicycled officers – some of them looking so young and fresh-faced, others with gruff demeanor and weary looking eyes.  Behind them gathered their more threatening looking colleagues armed with weapons that dispense tear gas, rubber bullets, electrical shock, in addition to the guns strapped to their bodies or carried in their arms.  A chilling sight, seeming so out of place at a peaceful demonstration on the streets of the State Capitol on a beautiful September day.

Early afternoon the warning came, blasted over the police bullhorn, ordering us to leave or risk arrest or being fired upon.  I have never been shot by rubber bullets or found myself gasping from tear gas, but I was aware of so many who had experienced such abuses and worse in pursuit of justice, freedom, human integrity. Over my shoulder I looked at the young activists, the brave bodies sliding into fabricated coffins to represent those who have been murdered by police and ahead of me I gazed upon a blue-clad phalanx poised to act.  I thought of the mothers who have cradled the bodies of their bullet-riddled children, the young black men stopped in their cars merely for being black, the daily fears and tensions that do not fill my life but do fill the lives of so many.  I remembered a challenge that came from a woman of color years ago declaring that things would not change until white people were willing to risk safety on behalf of People of Color. 

Humbled by those who face fear daily, yet persist in pursuit of justice, ashamed of the systemic racism that crushes so many, reminded of the unearned privilege with which I move through the world, the words of a song rose within me, “until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons. . . is as important as the killing of white men. . . .we cannot rest until it comes.“   While the killing continues we cannot rest.  We stand, together.

Photos by Elika Bernard

Sacramento ACT Statement on Sheriff Scott Jones and the Board of Supervisors' Action to Shut Down the Independent Oversight by the Inspector General of the County Sheriff's Department

Sacramento Area Congregations Together (Sac ACT) stands as a collective of faith communities with a common purpose of equity and fairness for all. Such a mission is only achieved through accountability and transparency in policy and practice.

We were dismayed when Sacramento County Sheriff, Scott Jones shut down an authorized independent review by the Inspector General of his department’s fatal shooting of an emotionally troubled African American man.  To further assert how “untouchable” he is, he stood before the County Board of Supervisors and proclaimed that the rules of the Sacramento County charter do not apply to him.  (Board of Supervisors moves to replace Sheriff’s department watchdog after lockout)

Where are we headed when law enforcement itself is ABOVE THE LAW? Has the county of Sacramento become a region of LAWLESSNESS?

Sacramento ACT stands firmly opposed to Sheriff Scott Jones’ resistance to submit to independent oversight and inspection. 

We are asking that Sheriff Jones, an elected official, be held accountable and that the Board of Supervisors require a strong, independent review of the Sheriff’s department.  This department exists as an agent of protection and service for the residents of Sacramento County. Therefore, Sac ACT views his rejection of oversight as an abuse of a sacred trust and an abuse of power.  We insist that the Sheriff’s department, like every other county department, does not have the authority to operate in a vacuum.  This department operates for the good of the public and must be subject to review on their behalf.