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File #: 2020-8182   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 7/21/2020
Title: Recommendation to: 1) Accept the City Manager's Report on Plans to Appoint a Steering Committee and; 2) Provide Further Feedback and Input on Staff's Work to Engage the Community in the Development of Options on the Future of Policing in the City of Alameda and Developing Work Plans to Address the Following Topics: A. Unbundling Services Currently Delivered by the Police Department; B. a Review of Police Department Policies and Practices; C. Police Department Accountability and Oversight; D. A Review of Laws that Criminalize Survival; and E. Systemic and Community Racism/Anti-Racism. (City Manager 2110)
Attachments: 1. Correspondence - Updated 7/21, 2. Public Comment Read into Record

Title

 

Recommendation to: 1) Accept the City Manager’s Report on Plans to Appoint a Steering Committee and; 2) Provide Further Feedback and Input on Staff’s Work to Engage the Community in the Development of Options on the Future of Policing in the City of Alameda and Developing Work Plans to Address the Following Topics: A. Unbundling Services Currently Delivered by the Police Department; B. a Review of Police Department Policies and Practices; C. Police Department Accountability and Oversight; D. A Review of Laws that Criminalize Survival; and E. Systemic and Community Racism/Anti-Racism. (City Manager 2110)

 

Body

 

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

At the City Council’s June 29 Special Meeting, the City Council authorized Mayor Ezzy Ashcraft and Councilmember Vella to work with staff to formulate a plan for a community-led process to address previously identified topics, including police department services, policies and practices, and oversight possibilities, as well as systemic/anti- racism and laws that criminalize survival. Since that time, the Subcommittee has met twice.  Consistent with City Council and Subcommittee feedback on the topic of policing generally, the City Manager intends to appoint a Steering Committee with responsibility for determining and possible selection of the individual task force members for each topic area and developing a work plan. The Steering Committee and the topic task forces will be supported by the City Manager’s Office.

 

BACKGROUND

 

The City Council provided specific direction to the City Manager regarding the Police Department’s budget at the June 17 City Council meeting. On the following day, the City Council held a Special Meeting to discuss recent national and local events in the context of policing and systemic and systemic and community racism/anti-racism, and to provide direction regarding Former President Obama’s Mayor’s Pledge and the “8 Can’t Wait” initiative. At the June 18 Special Meeting, City Council also endorsed a framework for future discussions with the community, including the following topic areas:

 

A.                     Unbundling Services Currently Delivered by the Police Department

B.                     A Review of Police Department Policies and Practices

C.                     Police Department Accountability and Oversight

D.                     A Review of Laws that Criminalize Survival

E.                     Systemic and Community Racism/Anti-Racism

 

On June 29, the City Council authorized Mayor Ezzy Ashcraft and Councilmember Vella (City Council Subcommittee or Subcommittee) to formulate a plan for a community-led process to address the aforementioned topics.

 

On July 2 and July 8, the City Council Subcommittee met to discuss the process for completing this work with a specific focus on emphasizing community leadership and direction.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Consistent with City Council and Subcommittee feedback on the topic of policing generally, the City Manager intends to appoint a Steering Committee which would take the lead in developing a community-led process and work plans to address the City Council goals as outlined. 

 

In implementing this work plan, the City Manager intends to use the following guiding principles:

 

1.                     City Manager will appoint the Steering Committee

2.                     The process will be community-led

3.                     The Steering Committee will identify a pool of candidates for the five task forces

4.                     The Steering Committee will work with the task force members to establish goals for the work and determine the best approach in receiving broad input

5.                     Elected officials (current or if elected in the future) cannot serve on the Steering Committee or any of the task forces

6.                     Check-ins with the City Council will be provided on the following timeline (at a minimum):

a.                     Short-term - Sept/October (Q1 City Budget)

b.                     Medium-term - December/January (with input relevant to the City’s next 2-year budget

c.                     Long-term - February/March (final information tying changes/new efforts to budget)

d.                     Longer-term - TBD, based on need and complexity of topic

 

At key milestones in established work plans or in alignment with City of Alameda (City) budget schedules, and/or at the request to the City Manager, the Steering Committee will prepare written updates and/or recommendations to the City Manager, for further review with the Council at the discretion of the City Manager. The City Manager’s Office will provide continuous support to the Steering Committee in their development of these work products.

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

The recommendation is for the City Council to receive the City Manager’s report on his intent to appoint a Steering Committee with direction to the Steering Committee to develop work plans to address police department services, policies and practices, and oversight possibilities, as well as systemic and community racism/anti-racism, and laws that criminalize survival. In addition, the Steering Committee would be responsible for ensuring community involvement in the formation of the recommendation on the future of policing.

 

Alternatively, the City Council may also consider:

1.                     Authorizing the City Council Subcommittee members to appoint the Steering Committee members; or

2.                     The City Council may consider making the appointments of the Steering Committee members itself.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

Since a work plan is still being developed, there is no direct financial impact at this time. As the work plan takes shape, staff will return to the City Council to request authorization for budget if the funds necessary to support and implement the work plan exceed the City Manager’s signing authority and/or there are insufficient funds available within existing budgets to cover the costs.

 

MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

 

Article 7 of the City Charter outlines the City Manager’s authority and responsibility, including oversight of “all officers and employees of the City under his or her jurisdiction” and “administer and execute policies and undertakings formulated by the Council.”

 

CLIMATE IMPACTS

 

No climate impacts are anticipated from this action.


ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

This action is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines sections 15061(b)(3) (common sense exemption).

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Recommendation to accept the City Manager’s report on his intent to appoint a Steering Committee and provide further feedback and input on staff’s work to engage the community in developing options on the future of policing in the City of Alameda and developing work plans to address the following topics: A. unbundling services currently delivered by the Police Department; B. a review of Police Department policies and practices; C. Police Department accountability and oversight; D. a review of laws that criminalize survival; and E. systemic and community racism/anti-racism.

 

CITY MANAGER’S RECOMMENDATION

It is the intent that if approved, the City Manager will move forward with appointing a Steering Committee which in turn would begin meeting to work on the areas outlined by the City Council.  It is my intent that the Steering Committee would take the lead in determining appointments of the committees to develop the work plans.  I would work in coordination with the Steering Committee as it is important to have this coordination for impactful change and implementation.

 

By: 

Gerry Beaudin, Assistant City Manager

 

cc:                     Eric Levitt, City Manager