When: Monday, January 24, 10:30 a.m.
Prospects for Police Reform
in Bay Area Cities
New Perspectives from the Cities of
Richmond, Oakland and Berkeley
Calling 911 is the usual way people fearing threats to their safety reach out, and currently the 911 response is to send the police. However, there are times when this response is not appropriate.
The call may not concern a crime requiring police. A person may be going through a serious mental health crisis. It can involve long-term issues between domestic partners, problems with alienated youth, or a person undergoing trauma, such as homelessness or job loss. In some instances, a person may distrust police and be unwilling to call 911 or be unwilling to cooperate with an officer. On these occasions, the presence of a mental health professional rather than a police officer could defuse tension.
A number of East Bay cities have creative projects and new ideas for responding to these crises. At this event, we'll hear from a panel of those working on police reform in Richmond, Oakland and Berkeley.
The panelists include:
● Kitty Calavita, Berkeley Police Accountability Board
● Amy Coulter, Family Member and Mental Health Advocate
● Andrew Greenwood, Retired Berkeley Police Chief
● Claudia Jimenez, Member, Richmond City Council
● Rebecca Kaplan, Vice Mayor, Oakland
● Zach Norris, Outgoing Executive Director, Ella Baker Center
The panel will be moderated by Judy Appel of the Ashby Village Board of Directors.
Kitty Calavita is a member of Berkeley’s Police Accountability Board. Kitty was previously a member of the Police Review Commission serving as Chair in 2020. She was also a member of the 2020-2021 Mayor’s Working Group on Fair and Impartial Policing. She is Chancellor’s Professor Emerita of Criminology, Law and Society at UC Irvine and is a Faculty Affiliate of the Center for the Study of Law and Society at UC Berkeley. She has written many books and articles in the fields of criminology, law, and prisons.
Amy Coulter (she/her/hers) is a loving mother, and has been a mental health advocate since her loved one became entangled in the criminal justice mental health system in 2004. Amy lives and works full-time in the East Bay and volunteers with the Santa Rita Jail Solidarity Hotline sponsored by the San Francisco National Lawyers Guild. She continues to interact with law enforcement, behavioral health and the courts to address the lack of community services to assist people who are experiencing extreme altered states.
Andrew Greenwood is a lifelong Berkeley resident and community member, serving for over 35 years in the Berkeley Police Department. Andy retired in March 2021 after serving as Chief for the last four and a half years. He rose through the ranks working assignments throughout the police department, from Patrol, to Narcotics Investigations, Communications, and the Community Services Bureau. As a Captain he oversaw the Patrol and Investigations Division. He is a graduate of the POST Supervisory Leadership Institute, POST Command College and the PERF Senior Management Institute for Policing. In retirement (which he considers a work-in-progress) Andy has been focused on his family and elder care.
Claudia Jimenez is an experienced community organizer, known for building and facilitating coalitions that have championed policies such as the successful “Invest in People, Not Prisons” campaign. Claudia was elected to the Richmond City Council representing District 6, and in 2020, with strong community support, she voted along with the Council to reallocate funds to public safety programs, including youth employment, gun violence prevention, services for unhoused residents and non-law-enforcement mental health crisis response.
Rebecca Kaplan has represented the City of Oakland as its Councilmember At-Large since 2009. In 2021, she was unanimously appointed by her colleagues to represent the City as Oakland's Vice Mayor. She is an honors graduate of MIT, holds a Master of Arts in Urban & Environmental Policy from Tufts University, and is a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School.
As the representative to Oakland's large and diverse community, Kaplan has pushed for transparency and accountability at all levels of service, including public safety. Kaplan championed the creation, funding, and implementation of emergency alternatives to policing. Mobile Assistance Crisis Responders of Oakland (MACRO) is an in-house city program of trained civilian emergency responders who answer nonviolent 9-1-1 calls and provide access to mental health, conflict mediation, and social resources. Kaplan has repeatedly called to civilianize and remove nonviolent and administrative duties currently performed by the Oakland Police Department. In 2020, the Oakland voters passed her ballot measure S1 that added the independent inspector general position to Oakland's Police Commission.
Zach Norris is the Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and author of Defund Fear: Safety Without Policing, Prisons, and Punishment. Zach is co-founder of Restore Oakland, a community advocacy and training center that will empower Bay Area community members to transform local economic and justice systems and make a safe and secure future possible for themselves and for their families. Zach is also a co-founder of Justice for Families, a national alliance of family-driven organizations working to end our nation’s youth incarceration epidemic.
Judy Appel’s passion for social justice has motivated her career choices. Judy was Executive Director of Our Family Coalition for 11 years, where she helped pass the Modern Family Act. She also was Senior Program Officer at the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation and Executive Director for the California School-Based Health Alliance. Judy served two terms on the Berkeley Unified School District Board, for which she was president. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to ensuring welcoming and inclusive schools. Judy also ran for State Assembly in 2018.
The Ashby Village Elder Action committee and the Berkeley Friends Meeting are pleased to co-sponsor this panel at this time when police reform is a community topic of concern. Please RSVP above.