(OAKLAND, CA, 7/19/17) – The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today thanked the Oakland City Council for unanimously approving the “Ordinance for Transparency for City Participation with Federal Surveillance Activities,” which would require Oakland police officers to follow state and local law and policy when working on federal task forces such as the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).
The law, sponsored by Councilmember McElhaney, came to the full council after the Oakland Public Safety Committee voted unanimously for it July 11th. At a Privacy Advisory Commission hearing in March, Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick conveyed her strong support for the law through a representative. The ordinance would need to pass one more vote by the full council to go into effect.
Oakland Privacy; Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus (AAAJ-ALC); CAIR-SFBA; Urban Strategies/LIVE FREE Campaign of the PICO National Network; ACLU of Northern California; and Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA) are some of the organizations supporting this ordinance.
“We thank Councilmember McElhaney for her leadership in bringing forth this ordinance,” said Sameena Usman, government relations coordinator for CAIR-SFBA. “This ordinance sends a strong message that we will protect residents’ civil rights regardless of their faith, background, or country of origin.”
“This critically needed and timely law will protect many marginalized Oaklanders; give the City more control of its officers and resources; and increase public safety by strengthening police-community relations. In other words, it is a win for Oakland in every way,” said Christina Sinha, National Security and Civil Rights Program Manager and Staff Attorney at AAAJ-Asian Law Caucus.
“Hate and fear of others are not Oakland values. Tonight, the City Council made it clear that Oakland is truly a place of refuge, and all are welcome here. Never again will Oakland allow our brothers and sisters to be rounded up in internment camp lines like we did during WWII, or use suspicionless surveillance like we did with COINTELPRO,” stated Brian Hofer, Chair of the Privacy Advisory Commission.
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