Summary: Explore alternative policies for ending homelessness, providing affordable housing, mental health, policing and disaster preparedness in Berkeley

Description: In Berkeley, as in all parts of the United States, issues of homelessness, lack of affordable housing, insufficient mental health services, and policing and disaster preparedness policies that often exacerbate problems are inextricably linked. However, too often, our public policies, as well as our public discourse, frame these issues as separate. Large parts of our “public safety” budgets are spent on police and emergency services that are directly linked to poverty, homelessness, institutional racism and lack of mental health services. Too often we are asked to spend large amounts of our tax dollars to provide “emergency” services that will never solve the problems they seek to address while social programs go underfunded and provide short-term band-aids in a revolving door where the only long-term hope is that issues will somehow magically disappear one day.

Excellent work is being done across all of these issues in Berkeley and Alameda County. Let’s break down silos and learn from one another. Join with your neighbors for an information packed hour and a half where you can get up to speed, and connected to ongoing efforts and campaigns addressing:

  • Homelessness - Speaker: Boona Cheema
  • Urban Shield - Speaker: Ellen Brotsky
  • “Audit the Sheriff” campaign - Speaker: John Lindsay-Poland
  • Effort to create a strong Police Commission - Speaker: Moni Law

The speakers will give short updates on campaigns underway in Berkeley to address these issues, answer your questions. Afterwards there will be time for participants to interface directly with the organizations and organizers working on these important issues.

This meeting is hosted by Indivisible Berkeley’s Racism and Criminal Justice Reform Team. Contact the team leaders for more information, or to RSVP (optional).