Category Archives: Opinion

Opinion pieces written by members that reflect the values and position of the Club.

Support the End of Urban Shield!

The Ad-Hoc Committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors has provided powerful recommendations to the Board of Supervisors geared toward community-based emergency preparedness, de-escalation, and demilitarized disaster response. The recommendations include:
· Eliminating SWAT teams and competition from emergency preparedness exercises
· Eliminating the weapons expo that puts private interests and weapons manufacturers above the goals of whole community preparedness
· Ensuring that the majority of people responsible for implementing exercises are from the key disciplines of Fire and Emergency Managers, as well as community organizations serving vulnerable populations, rather than most being law enforcement
· Changing the name “Urban Shield” for exercises
· Dedicating $5 million of funding for the Health Care Services Agency and Social Services Agency to carry out emergency preparedness training and exercises
Let’s be ready to defend our tremendous victory this year, and build the demilitarized, community-centered alternative to Urban Shield!

Call Your Supervisor!
Please make your call before February 26th.
How to Contact:
District 1: Supervisor Haggerty – (510) 272-6691, ask for Josh Thurman
District 2: Supervisor Valle – (510) 272-6692, ask for Chris Miley
District 3: Supervisor Chan – (510) 272-6693, ask for Dave Brown
District 4: Supervisor Miley – (510) 670-3691, ask for Erin Armstrong
District 5: Supervisor Carson – (510) 272-6695, ask for Shahida Lacy

Two meetings added for the Racial and Criminal Justice Committee

We’ve added two meetings to the calendar for the Racial and Criminal Justice Committee, one for Thurs, Feb 21st at 7pm in north Berkeley, and one two weeks later on Thurs, March 7th in south Berkeley near the Oakland border. Click on the events in the Events listing for more details, or for more info, contact Rivka Polatnick (

Resolution for financial audit of Alameda County Sheriff’s Office

Resolutions from the Wellstone Club to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors – January 24, 2019

WHEREAS, activist and community groups requested that the Alameda County Board of Supervisors audit the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office budget in the interest of transparency; and

WHEREAS, community groups have called attention to the $144 million increase in the Sheriff’s budget over the past 10 years while the Alameda County jail population decreased significantly; and

WHEREAS, reports have detailed prisoner hunger strikes in protest of inhumane and abusive conditions at sheriff-run facilities; and

WHEREAS, community members have also questioned the Sheriff’s decision to accept grant money and adopt policing activities associated with the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE) and judgement related to the design and operation of the yearly Urban Shield exercise; and

WHEREAS, the Alameda County community would benefit from the increased transparency resulting from an independent audit as potential savings could be redirected toward education, housing, public safety and other critical priorities; and

WHEREAS, the Berkeley City Council has adopted a similar resolution,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club that it hereby supports community requests for a financial and performance audit of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office budget; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this Resolution be sent to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this Resolution be sent to the Oakland City Council, urging the Council to adopt a similar resolution.

Contact Pamela Drake

         Jack Kurzweil