Connect with us

City Government

Quan, Santana Accused of Thwarting Reform of Intake of Complaints Against OPD Officers.

Published

on

Many supporters of increased police accountability to the community consider that it is a small step forward to take intake of complaints against police away from the police department and put it in the hands of neutral civilians.

 

But though the reform was passed two years ago, it has still not been implemented and is the center of ongoing disputes.

Some of those backing increased police accountability now are accusing City Administrator Deanna Santana and Mayor Jean Quan of thwarting the City Council’s decision to remove intake of complaints against officer from the Internal Affairs Division of the Oakland Police Department.

The agreement was for Santana to hire eight intake technicians by the middle of October. As approved by the City Council and asked for by community groups, these new intake workers are to be trained and placed at the offices of the Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB), not within Internal Affairs.

The intent of the council decision was to “consolidate” the intake function, which up to now has taken place both in Internal Affairs and the CPRB.

However, the job announcement released by Santana’s office says the positions will be located “within the Internal Affairs Division of the Oakland Police Department.” And operate “under general supervision in the Oakland Police Department (OPD).”

However, the council had allocated funding for the workers “in the City Administrator’s budget, to be utilized to expand the CPRB – not to hire intake personnel in Internal Affairs,” said Rashidah Grinage, executive director of PUEBLO, which has long worked with other community groups to increase police accountability.

“She changed that allocation from her budget to the police budget. She has no authority to do that – plain and simple,” said Grinage, who accused Santana of usurping the council’s powers that are determined by the City Charter.

“At what point do we say the City Council is irrelevant and the city administration will do whatever it wants?”

Santana and Mayor Quan, who is Santana’s boss, have to share responsibility for the decision on intake workers, Grinage said. “This is a question of undermining democracy in Oakland. We learned that this administration feels impunity to ignore public policy legislated by elected representatives.”

The council’s unanimous decision two years ago to move the intake function to the CPRB came after members of the public said they have had little confidence in going to the police department to file a complaint about the police.

There were also persistent complaints that Internal Affairs intake workers actively discouraged and sometimes intimidated those who tried to file complaints.

Santana sent an email Tuesday to Grinage in response to her concerns. She said the intake workers would be placed temporarily in Internal Affairs for the purpose of training.

“The Intake Technicians will first learn the process and methods of the current staff in the Intake Unit of Internal Affairs. The city must ensure that the new staff is properly trained and sufficiently performing the tasks of intake before those positions can be transferred to the CPRB,” Santana said in the email.

Santana also said her “action was consistent with input and comments made by the compliance director who expressed concern and/or questions about the transfer to CPRB.”

In response, Grinage said that if Santana believes the policy adopted by the council needed to be modified, she needs to present that as a proposal to the council, not unilaterally change policies at her own discretion.

Santana is violating the City Charter, said Grinage, because the charter says her job is “to execute and enforce all laws and ordinances and policies of the Council and to administer the affairs of the City,” not make policy.

In addition, Grinage said, “I am challenging Santana to produce a document from Tom Frazier (the compliance director) stating he directed her to essentially wipe out what the City council had ordered. I asked her to produce such a document by Sept. 4.”

Libby Schaaf, Council member from District 4, sees merit in Santana’s decision to train the new workers within Internal Affairs but underscores her commitment to moving complaint intake to CPRB.

“We are all very anxious to get these positions in place. This is something the council asked for more than two years ago. We’ve been frustrated that it has taken this long,” she said.

“We want this transition to go as quickly as possible,” she said. We will be vigilant to make sure that is what happens. I think the community has every right to be frustrated and a little skeptical because this has been delayed for so long.”

Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan reiterated her support for council’s original decision on complaint intake.

“It is essential that the reforms that I voted for and that the people have asked for be enacted, and I look forward to ensuring that it happens. We need to continue the important work of rebuilding trust and this is a critical step in that direction,” she said.

Local civil rights attorney Dan Siegel says the council and Quan shares responsibility if it does not stand up to Santana.

“Thecity y administrator is attempting to undermine the wishes of the people of Oakland to have police review civilianized. But we should not let the mayor or council off the hook. They’re complicit if they allow Santana to ride roughshod over the community’s wishes.”

At press time, Mayor Quan had not responded to questions submitted by the Post.

The hiring of the new intake technicians is scheduled to be discussed at the city’s finance committee meeting Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Business

Oakland City Council Considers Proposal to Limit City’s Highest Annual Rent Hike in History

In Oakland, landlords can raise rents up to 100% of the inflation rate. So, a 6.7% increase in inflation this year means that landlords can raise rents the same percentage. For an apartment rented for $2,000 a month, the 6.7% rent increase would mean that a tenant’s rent would increase more than $100 to $2,134 a month.

Published

on

District 3 Councilmember Carroll Fife introduced a bill to bring Oakland’s calculator more in line with other cities. The law is scheduled for a vote on May 31. If it passes before the current allowable rent hike goes into effect on July 1, then the lower allowable increase will take effect instead.

By Brandon Patterson

Last month, Oakland housing regulators announced that starting in July, landlords would be permitted to raise rents by up to 6.7% — the highest annual increase in the city’s history. The announcement prompted an outcry from renters at City Council meetings and hearings in recent weeks – and calls to local councilmembers.

Now, City Council is considering a proposal to limit the rent increase and give renters, many of whom are already struggling, some needed relief.

In many Bay Area cities, where housing has been an issue for decades, the amount landlords are allowed to raise rents every year is tied to inflation. This stabilizes rents by limiting increases, ensuring more security for renters’ households.

In Oakland, landlords can raise rents up to 100% of the inflation rate. So, a 6.7% increase in inflation this year means that landlords can raise rents the same percentage. For an apartment rented for $2,000 a month, the 6.7% rent increase would mean that a tenant’s rent would increase more than $100 to $2,134 a month.

This deviates from other cities like Berkeley and San Francisco, however, where the annual allowable rent increase is capped at 65% and 60% of inflation, respectively, according to Oaklandside. That means that for the same $2,000 apartment, rents would increase to about $2,087 in Berkeley or $2084 in San Francisco — about $50 less.

Housing justice and tenants’ rights groups have long criticized how differently Oakland calculates its rent hikes from other cities, and earlier this month, District 3 Councilmember Carroll Fife introduced a bill to bring Oakland’s calculator more in line with other cities. The bill would reduce the allowable annual rent increase to just 60% of inflation. It would also cap the allowable rent increase to 3% of the current rent, even if the inflation rate would allow for a higher one.

“I do want to create some security for renters,” Fife told NBC Bay Area in a recent interview. “Oakland is a majority renter city: Over 60% of the residents of the city of Oakland are renters, and it doesn’t make sense to put them in this type of jeopardy.”

“It’s not like we’re coming out of COVID—it’s all around us,” Mark Dias, co-chair of the Oakland Tenants Union, told Oaklandside. “If tenants weren’t able to financially recover from that period of time, they’re also going to be hit with an increase that is legal,” adding that he was “astonished” by the pending rent hike this year.

But some property owners are pushing back, arguing that increases in the cost of operating housing necessitates the higher rent hike. “There has also been an extraordinary increase in everything: water, gas, electric, sewer, repair services, equipment, appliances, plumbing,” Derek Barnes, CEO of the East Bay Rental Housing Association, told NBC Bay Area. “You also have a housing stock that’s older, that really needs a lot of maintenance.”

The law is scheduled for a vote on May 31. If it passes before the current allowable rent hike goes into effect on July 1, then the lower allowable increase will take effect instead.

Continue Reading

Bay Area

Bay Area Health Officers Urge Public to Take Precautions as COVID-19 Levels Rise

The Bay Area now has California’s highest COVID-19 infection rates, fueled by highly contagious Omicron subvariants. Bay Area counties are seeing increases in reported cases, levels of virus in wastewater, and hospitalizations. Actual case rates are higher than those reported because of widespread use of home tests.

Published

on

Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer.
Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer.

Courtesy of Marin County

Twelve Bay Area health officers are emphasizing the importance of taking safety precautions, including continued masking indoors, as the region experiences a new swell of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The Bay Area now has California’s highest COVID-19 infection rates, fueled by highly contagious Omicron subvariants. Bay Area counties are seeing increases in reported cases, levels of virus in wastewater, and hospitalizations. Actual case rates are higher than those reported because of widespread use of home tests.

The health officers reiterate their continued, strong support for people to mask up indoors, keep tests handy, and ensure they are up to date on vaccinations by getting boosters when eligible.

“As cases rise around us, it’s important to understand that more people around you are likely infected or have been exposed,” said Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis. “Masks are an easy tool you can use to protect yourself and lower your risk of infection.”

The grim milestone of 1 million deaths from COVID-19 in the United States, reached earlier this week, underscores the need for continued vigilance against the virus.

Although not required, masking is strongly recommended by the California Department of Public Health for most public indoor settings, and health officials say wearing higher-quality masks (N95/KN95 or snug-fitting surgical masks) indoors is a wise choice. Vaccines remain the best protection against severe disease and death from COVID-19.

Health officials say people should also stay home and get tested right away if they feel sick. Officials also encourage getting tested after potential exposure and limiting large gatherings to well ventilated spaces or outdoors. For those more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 infection, medications are available that can reduce chances of severe illness and death. Talk with a health care provider right away if a test comes back positive.

This statement has been endorsed by health officers from the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma as well as the City of Berkeley.

Continue Reading

Bay Area

Multiple Services Offered at June 1 County Event

Clean Slate is a new community-minded collaboration of the County’s justice-oriented departments plus key support from Health and Human Services. The motivation was to bring services from the Civic Center to the people who might need them the most. The program helps ensure that every resident can succeed following a criminal conviction by informing them about job training, government benefits, and basic health care needs.

Published

on

Clean Slate program supporters at Civic Center include (from left) Assistant DA Otis Bruce Jr., Health and Human Services Director Benita McLarin, Probation Chief Marlon Washington, Health and Human Services Division Director D’Angelo Paillet, DA Lori Frugoli, and Public Defender David Joseph Sutton.
Clean Slate program supporters at Civic Center include (from left) Assistant DA Otis Bruce Jr., Health and Human Services Director Benita McLarin, Probation Chief Marlon Washington, Health and Human Services Division Director D’Angelo Paillet, DA Lori Frugoli, and Public Defender David Joseph Sutton.

Clean Slate program to address justice-related & health needs in San Rafael

Courtesy of Marin County

Bringing assistance directly to Marin County residents in their own neighborhood is the idea behind the Clean Slate program, which made a successful debut in February in Marin City. This time, an array of services from four County of Marin departments will be available Wednesday, June 1, at the Multicultural Center of Marin in San Rafael.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be on hand for assistance with public benefits such as Medi-Cal, CalFresh food assistance, CalWORKS services, employment training, and general financial relief for families. COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots will be available as well.

People in need of help with justice-related tasks such as clearing one’s record, terminating one’s probation, or dismissing a conviction will be able to walk in with documentation and receive help from the Public Defender’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, or the Probation Department.

The walk-in event will be set up from 4-7 p.m. at the Multicultural Center of Marin, 709 5th Avenue, in San Rafael.

Clean Slate is a new community-minded collaboration of the County’s justice-oriented departments plus key support from Health and Human Services. The motivation was to bring services from the Civic Center to the people who might need them the most. The program helps ensure that every resident can succeed following a criminal conviction by informing them about job training, government benefits, and basic health care needs.

“I believe that this collaboration really shows the commitment of each of the departments to help remove barriers to self-sufficiency and have a presence in the community,” said D’Angelo Paillet, HHS Social Services Director.

Those seeking law-related help are asked to bring all relevant documents with them, including past correspondences and state Department of Justice records. Each participating department will have Spanish translators on hand to help with health or immigration-related relief.

For questions about the event related to legal services, contact the Public Defender’s Office at (473) 473-6321. For health-related questions, contact Health and Human Services at (415) 473-3350.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending