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Oakland City Council Unanimously Supports Law Protecting Against FBI Overreach

July 19, 2017 News

Oakland City Council Unanimously Supports Law Protecting Against FBI Overreach

Law Must Pass One More Reading to Go Into Effect

(Oakland, CA) – Last night, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved the “Ordinance for Transparency for City Participation with Federal Surveillance Activities,” which would require Oakland police officers to follow state and local law and policy when working on federal task forces such as the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (“JTTF”).

The law, sponsored by Councilmember McElhaney, came to the full Council after the Oakland Public Safety Committee voted unanimously for it July 11th. At a Privacy Advisory Commission hearing in March, Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick conveyed her strong support for the law through a representative. The ordinance would need to pass one more vote by the full Council to go into effect.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus (“AAAJ-ALC”); the Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area chapter (“CAIR-SFBA”); Oakland Privacy; Urban Strategies/LIVE FREE Campaign of the PICO National Network; ACLU of Northern California; and Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (“ASATA”) are some of the organizations supporting this ordinance.

“This critically needed and timely law is a win for Oakland in every way. It will protect many marginalized Oaklanders, give the City more control of its officers and resources, and increase public safety by strengthening police-community relations,” said Christina Sinha, National Security and Civil Rights Program Manager and Staff Attorney at AAAJ-ALC.

“We thank Councilmember McElhaney for her leadership in bringing forth this Ordinance,” said Sameena Usman, Government Relations Coordinator for CAIR-SFBA. “This Ordinance sends a strong message that we will protect residents’ civil rights regardless of their faith, background, or country of origin.”

“Hate and fear of others are not Oakland values. Tonight, the City Council made it clear that Oakland is truly a place of refuge, and all are welcome here. Never again will Oakland allow our brothers and sisters to be rounded up in internment camp lines like we did during WWII, or use suspicionless surveillance like we did with COINTELPRO,” stated Brian Hofer, Chair of the Privacy Advisory Commission.



Christina Sinha, Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus: (415) 848-7733; christinas@advancingjustice-alc.org

Brian Hofer, Privacy Advisory Commission (510) 303-2871; brian.hofer@gmail.com

Sameena Usman, Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area: 408-986-9874; susman@cair.com