Updated: Jan 20, 2022
On November 16, 2021 the city of Sacramento heard a presentation from Dr. LaTesha Watson from OPSA(Office of Public Safety and Accountability) on the Truth, Reform, and Reconciliation project.
On June 15, 2021 the city council approved $320K from the general budget to help repair the relationship between residents and law enforcement. After researching what reconciliation programs cost, Dr. Watson returned to the city council to ask for another $280K. The council was all shocked by the cost.
Mayor Steinberg reminded the council that this is far less than the city pays out in ongoing brutality and wrongful death suites.
Councilmember Venezuela felt that, if it works, it would be worth every penny of the $600K.
Dr. Watson worked with several other city employees to suggest that Sustainable Equity is the group to do the work. They’re from Mississippi and have spent 30+ years working to rebuild trust between police and communities.
Councilmember Ashby made the point that the Sacramento community should also be compensated for this work. (A little ironic since we’re also paying for the program - refunded may be more accurate)
The forever out of touch Councilmember Loloee shared that it’s the media that’s the problem, for not covering more neighborly things that the police do.
I guess the mass incarceration of Black folx, high death tolls of BIPOC at the hands of law enforcement, and history of police brutality could all be fixed if the media would just report on the police getting cats out of trees more often. He also feels like reconciliation will likely never take place.
Not that I often agree with Loloee, but from what I could tell, this sounds like very expensive talk therapy. A police officer, who worked with Sustainable Equity, shared his experience of how they helped him humanize a Black woman.
I don’t see how talking it out repairs the systemic injustice that’s been in place since the start of policing in the United States.
One of the first phases within the Sustainable Equity program is police taking accountability for what they’ve done. Tax payers having to shell out $600K doesn’t feel like police taking accountability.
Talking it out isn’t going to fix the lack of training and education required to become a police officer - the racist/classist nature of policing - or the fact that police unions have a stranglehold on our communities. *Looking for the Reform Part of the $600K program*
This feels like more talk, instead of real change….and I, for one, don’t want to foot the bill for more performative programs.