Public Safety Begins with Public Health

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: