Our state senator Bill Dodd is holding a Virtual Town Hall on Justice in Policing this Tuesday, June 30th, at 6 pm. This is our chance to push him on several issues. We know that law enforcement spends a great deal of money to buy influence with campaigns, and Sen. Dodd has been the beneficiary of substantial donations. We've asked him to pledge to stop taking money from police unions and private prisons, and to donate the campaign contributions he's already accepted to mutual aid organizations and bail funds.
We also have a state bill we've been keeping our eye on, which would allow counties to establish oversight boards to investigate wrongdoing and abuse in Sheriff's departments (and get actual subpoena powers so their investigations have some teeth.) This is state bill AB 1185, and may be coming up for a vote as soon as today! We've been pressing Sen. Dodd to vote YES on AB 1185 for Sheriff oversight, but haven't heard anything yet.
A second bill we'd like Dodd's support on is AB 2054. This would establish a pilot grant program for community-based response to local emergencies. It's an important step in supporting alternatives to policing instead of having an armed response to every situation.
Details for the Virtual Town Hall, example call scripts, phone numbers, and email links for Sen. Dodd are below. Since AB 1185 may be voted on as soon as Monday (TODAY), please don't wait for the Town Hall to let him know he should support it!
Want some company making your calls to representatives? Join our Virtual Action Coffee Zoom meeting Monday mornings at 10 am: https://zoom.us/j/721847201. We'll talk through Indivisible Yolo's action of the week, call or email our representatives, talk politics, and stay connected to each other and the work in this challenging time.
When we call (or email if it's not possible to attend) we have several asks of Sen. Dodd:
To commit to stop taking campaign contributions from law enforcement and private prison companies, and to pledge to donate money he's already received to mutual aid organizations and bail funds
To support AB 1185 (Sheriff oversight)
To support AB 2054 (alternatives to policing)
Note: AB 1185 (Sheriff oversight) may come up for a vote as soon as Monday. If Sen. Dodd has already voted to support the bill, we can congratulate him on his vote as we push him on the other issues. But if he's voted no on oversight, we want to challenge him on that!
The call script below has more details on each of these (it may help to write out a short version with your own words that you can then read at the Town Hall).
Action: State Sen. Dodd: YES on Sheriff oversight; YES on alternatives to policing; Stop taking campaign contributions from police unions and private prisons
Sample script for State Sen. Bill Dodd:
Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY/ZIP CODE]. It's never been more clear that we need to be able to demand accountability and oversight of law enforcement. I'm calling to ask Senator Dodd to support AB 1185 to allow the County Board of Supervisors to perform oversight of their sheriff’s departments via the creation of oversight commissions and inspectors general with subpoena power. California sheriffs have operated for too long without effective oversight and this bill is a critical step toward changing that.
I'd also like to ask for Sen. Dodd's support for AB 2054, establishing a pilot grant program for a community-based response to local emergencies. It's important to implement alternatives to policing and to work on a different vision for what public safety will look like in our communities.
I want Sen. Dodd to work to eliminate systemic racism in policing. So, I'm concerned that Senator Dodd is still taking donations from police unions and private prisons. I can't trust that he will act in the public's interest if he continues to accept the money police are using to buy influence. I'm asking Senator Dodd to PUBLICLY commit to stop taking campaign contributions from police unions and private prison companies, and to donate the money that has already been received to bail funds and mutual aid organizations.