Wednesday, October 10, 2001
( 10:41 AM ) Jackie
My friend Tory called me Monday night begging me to attend a County Board meeting to represent Vote Health. In spite of Sunshine laws a last minute meeting had been called to reconsider a vote made the previous week. Alameda County has been considering building a Super Jail for youth--a 540 bed juvenile detention hall. A coalition of youth group Books Not Bars, Health advocates from Vote Health, and the Dublin community were able to reduce this number to 350 beds. But the swing vote changed her mind and brought the item up for reconsideration.
At what the Oakland Tribune called " a raucous and emotional meeting", the coalition brought about 55 people to oppose the measure (and this on 24 hour notice). The proponents of the measure brought out the DA, the County Sherrif and a long-time social worker to speak in favor of it. Hmmmm The Jailors want bigger jails! Quelle surprise! In any case I got another civics lesson yesterday and met some terrific smart talented young people.
The coalitions is pretty great, as coaltitions can be. The woman from Dublin spoke to the issue of lowering property values in her community (aahhhhhh! a perfect blend of racism and NIMBY). Several people did raps on the issue. The lawyer demonstrated clearly how disproportionate the number of beds would be compared to other communities of similar size.
Pretty much everybody in opposition (except the woman from Dublin) spoke of the racism that underlies the system in the first place and the need for detention alternatives and agreed that the current facility is inadequate, outdated, and dangerous. The issues were the number of beds and the location of the new facility.
We'll all meet again on November 15 in Sacramento, which promises to be a pretty volatile meeting.
Meanwhile, I managed to print and frame eight of my pix for showing at the drum recital and have most of the two collages ready.
I also remembered that this about drumming and that I need to practice before tonight's rehearsal. I love my beautiful drum!
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