Waste of time initiatives like recalling Pamela Price won't reverse Oakland's multi-year crime wave.
Thanks for this D.O. I agree that the recall effort is reactionary and won't fix anything. I'm looking forward to your take on a three pronged approach that can guide us forward together to address the recent crime spike in our Town. We yearn for collective healing and bridge building, and less venomous blame spitting.
I agree with this and have usually been the voice of caution in my circles that the DA 1) hasn’t actually that radically changed policies, 2) hasn’t really had the duration in office to have significantly impacted that much, and 3) the situation won’t materially change after she’s gone. And I’m probably best described as a political moderate. I just care about practical impacts, especially since I live here.
I basically said the same about Chesa Boudin, even with all of his head scratching statements.
One thing about both him and Pamela Price (vs Gascón especially) is why are they both so terrible at public statements? From their actual job performance or actions, I’d say they don’t deserve the slings and arrows they received. As political figures, which they are as elected officials, they’re quite awful at reassuring the community and not sounding completely disconnected/tone-dead. Which really doesn’t help their actual cause either--it just gives progressive prosecutors a bad name and taints public perception of the movement. This includes reading their actual statements and listening to interviews when available, not just what’s filtered through media headlines (which I agree are quite slanted against them).
How can you say this: “There’s no evidence provided that Pamela Price is letting out criminals who will re-offend”
(1) released all of those teens beating up old women for sport? https://www.ktvu.com/news/insufficeint-evidence-to-charge-9-youths-for-string-of-east-bay-robberies-da-says.amp
(You know she is lying about the lack of evidence because there are numerous eyewitnesses and double-digit victims)
and (2) And when victims are telling you she isn’t doing her job? https://www.berkeleyscanner.com/2023/06/25/courts/victim-families-criticize-pamela-price-they-didnt-fight-for-us/
I think it’s fair to say getting rid of Price won’t stop the crime, but by failing to charge and incarcerate the few criminals OPD does catch she’s making it worse. and unlike other fixes like adding more social spending and police coverage, a better DA would not cost anything more than what we are paying price.
"Nor do I buy the “anti-police sentiment harming police morale”
How would you explain the increases in retirements and transfers, and more importantly, the difficulty recruiting new officers?
Speculating how various professions should feel based on public polling is nice and all, but staffing and hiring is where the rubber meets the road. If no one wants to sign up to be an OPD officer, maybe there really is a morale problem. And note that this is a common problem in big cities across America; Oakland is no outlier.
If Oakland is a partially impoverished city, in need of investment, why are less of its residents than ever willing to sign up for a job with high pay and an opportunity to directly help the community they are part of?
And sorry to keep posting but from someone who used to be a public defender before she got sick of just pleading people out (they were invariably guilty, which got old for different reasons, but the ones with 4th amendment violations shouldn’t have been convicted), this is just factually wrong: “Frankly, most criminals are neither educated or smart, so the idea they’re reading the sentencing nuances of a district attorney’s platform 99% can’t even name is absurd”
Professionals aren’t stupid, and they figure out fairly quickly when you can get a good deal out of a DA. I used to be a public defender and repeat offenders know the nuances of sentencing and enhancements better than the lawyers - hell, I’ve seen clients correct the judge’s miscalculations.
And on the defund thing - what you’re missing is that to have equivalent police coverage of NYC or Chicago, Oakland needs about 1000 officers. OPD has been defunded since the receivership basically - not due to maliciousness but bc Oakland is so mismanaged we underfund everything and the rest goes to pensions and insider contracts. Which you’ve written about before so it’s frustrating to see you repeat a bunch of the pro-price myths here.
"It’s sad too because crime is serious both emotionally and physically."
And financially. I've seen estimates of the community costs of a single murder that range from 2.5 to 17 million. With it's high COL Oakland probably pays more, in dollar terms, than most places. My back-of-the-envelope math places the cost of murder alone at 10% of Oakland's operating budget. Of course, much of that cost is born by the state, but murder is not the only crime either.
Fixing crime would allow communities to fix so many other problems