Today, new legislation was introduced by Supervisor Jane Kim at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors that is the result of a compromise between community advocates and the Mayor’s office on the issue of San Francisco Police Department’s (SFPD) engagement with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). This could not have happened without community mobilization!!Last week the Board passed for the second time, the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance by a vote of 6-5. Mayor Ed Lee had publicly threatened to veto the legislation, and unfortunately with 6 votes, the Ordinance would have died on Mayor Lee’s desk.
The community, the 80 endorsing organizations, and the Coalition for a Safe San Francisco fought hard to win 6 votes and to pressure the Mayor not to veto our rights. Rallies, letter writing campaigns, phone calls, stories in the media, and other community advocacy efforts meant that the Mayor could not ignore us. The Mayor’s office finally engaged in negotiations with the Coalition for Safe San Francisco, resulting in the compromise legislation that was introduced earlier today.
Due to the community’s commitment, pressure, and hard work, the Mayor conceded to a compromise, and the Ordinance was introduced with 8 Cosponsors, ensuring a veto-proof majority!
This is a victory for police accountability and civil rights in San Francisco and shows the power of community organizing!
Check out the Community in Action
- On Tuesday January 24th, the Ordinance was introduced by Tenderloin Supervisor Jane Kim after lots of consultation and support from community members and advocates as to the content and direction of the Ordinance.
- On March 1st, Community members and activists gave testimony at the Public Safety Hearing illustrating past FBI transgressions and civilian oversight of San Francisco Police. Afterward, a dozen community members lobbied various supervisors.
- On March 20th, Community members and advocates gathered to urge Mayor Lee to get behind the Safe SF Civil Rights Ordinance. Then, 30 community members went inside City Hall and up to the Mayor’s office to give him the hundreds of letters and emails supporting the Ordinance.
- On Friday, March 30th, over 300 community members rallied and prayed in Civic Center Plaza to tell Mayor Ed Lee to support the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance
What’s the new legislation??
The new legislation accomplishes the Coalition’s major goals of bringing JTTF activities by SFPD officers under the control of California constitutional and San Francisco standards, annual reporting by Police Commission, and public review of any future agreements by Police Commission.
Though the new compromise legislation is not as specific as the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance, it does incorporate the Police Department’s general orders, and as a result, should have the same effect. The lack of specificity will require more careful monitoring on the part of advocates in working to ensure the new legislation is implemented as promised.
AROC will continue its role within the Coalition to make sure that this Ordinance moves forward. We will keep you posted on next steps for community mobilization.
And more than ever we will continue to fight for justice for our communities!
Join us on Thursday at our Membership Meeting to find out more about next steps for the Ordinance and other ways to get involved in community efforts!
Thursday at 6:30pm – email Miriam(at)araborganizing.org to attend