On September 1, 2017, I attended a public hearing in Sacramento on Prop 57. Over a hundred people from across California commented on how the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) should revise its suggested “Regulations” on Prop 57. Approved by 64 percent of...
The wildfires in California over the past few months have once more highlighted the issue of prison labor, and the injustices faced by people locked up. As the wildfires dominated headlines, mainstream media also covered the role incarcerated people play in fighting fires. The Atlantic published a...

In December 2017, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights released our community safety plan for Oakland, Public Safety Begins with Public Health: Making Oakland Safer Together

Our plan recognizes the choices that have led to less safe and healthy communities, and identifies ways that the city can implement public health solutions to public health problems that focus on health, wellbeing, and prevention instead of criminalization. 

Our vision for our city is simple: An Oakland where all communities are thriving economically and socially, where people work and live in clean, safe neighborhoods free from crime, where all are able to provide security for their families, and where children can look to a future with greater opportunity.

By prioritizing positive, community-based, public health solutions rather than punishment, we can chart a new future for Oakland.

The Ella Baker Center Community Safety Plan for Oakland identifies current gaps and inefficiencies in adequately addressing public health issues, and offers recommendations for a new way forward:

  • Use community-based support systems for mental health concerns. 
  • Adopt a public-health-centered approach to substance use disorders. 
  • Develop accessible and affordable housing. 
  • Prevent sex trafficking in Oakland without criminalizing victims. 
  • Resolve disciplinary challenges in schools without criminalizing youth.
  • Implement community safety solutions that incorporate restorative justice practices. 

Read our full community safety plan for Oakland and let us know on social media what you think would make Oakland safer with the hashtag #SafetyIsPublicHealth.

Contact our Senior Organizer and Advocate Angelo Sandoval for more information: angelo@ellabakercenter.org. 

I realized, I couldn’t be a bystander anymore. Help support my work through a donation Organizing to build the power of formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones is personal to me because I have been that kid who was suspended and locked up in juvenile detention, while also visiting...
Over the past 10 years, the Alameda County jail population has decreased by half— so why is the sheriff's budget increasing? Under Sheriff Ahern’s "watch" there have been increasing deaths in the jails, abuse of people by sheriff's deputies, and support of white...
The following post is a part of our series Beyond Bars. Beyond Bars blog posts are pieces sent to us from currently incarcerated people. These posts are not written by Ella Baker Center staff and we try to keep them in their original form. This blog is meant as a way to foster dialogue and build...
But we can’t have effective reinvestment until we acknowledge the truth of this country’s history of racial oppression. Police violence, mass incarceration, and pervasive disenfranchisement of communities of color are the result of slavery, lynch mobs, Jim Crow, disinvestment, and...
As I turned page after mesmerizing page of Shaka Senghor’s memoir Writing My Wrongs , I immediately was reminded of this quote: "Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what happens in the ‘hood'." These were the words uttered by rapper...
Last week, reproductive justice advocates celebrated a significant win when the Supreme Court temporarily blocked a Louisiana abortion law and allowed four abortion clinics to re-open. The court is now deciding whether to uphold a Texas law that also places major restrictions on facilities...
On Saturday, December 5th, the Ella Baker Center co-hosted the recurring event, “A Fair Chance to Advance” at Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana Hispana – a Spanish-speaking community church in the heart of Oakland. Through collaboration with the Alameda County Public Defender's...

Languages