Letters: Fund Ceasefire | Violence prevention | Constituents’ concerns | RCV in Antioch | 14th Amendment

Letters: Fund Ceasefire | Violence prevention | Constituents’ concerns | RCV in Antioch | 14th Amendment

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Oakland should firm
up Ceasefire funding

Re: “City audit takes aim at violence with guns” (Page A1, Jan. 16).

Ceasefire, Oakland’s successful gun violence reduction program, needs long-term funding. The revenue stream currently provided by Measure Z — a tax measure that sunsets at year-end — must be extended.

Shomik Mukherjee’s article on the audit of Ceasefire describes operational decisions that the Oakland Police Department made to divert manpower and resources away from “each essential element of the strategy.” As a result, residents of Oakland have witnessed greatly increased gun violence and friends of mine no longer feel safe leaving their homes after dark.

It is not enough to strengthen the shooting reviews or to redeploy existing staff and focus attention on individual perpetrators of gun crimes. These steps should help. But if the city of Oakland Parcel Tax and Parking Tax, Measure Z, is not extended or replaced by the end of this year, steps to revitalize the Ceasefire program will dead end.

Jean Moses

City must fully implement
violence prevention

Re: “City audit takes aim at violence with guns” (Page A1, Jan. 16).

As a longtime supporter of, and participant in, the Oakland Ceasefire violence prevention strategy, I was dismayed by the findings of the recent audit by the California Partnership for Safe Communities.

However, the audit helped me understand why we community members, who were working hard to save lives through Ceasefire, were not seeing satisfactory results. I trust that the mayor, the Oakland Police Department and the Oakland City Council will take the audit to heart, realize that when it is employed, Ceasefire works, and mandate its full implementation.

Pastor Jim Hopkins

Supervisors ignore
constituents’ concerns

The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors is failing in its duty to represent county residents, placing business interests ahead of quality of life.

On Jan. 16 they rubberstamped the revised EIR for Phillips 66’s massive project after effectively marginalizing the public who were there to speak on the matter. Supervisor Federal Glover offered no reason for imposing a one-minute limit for public comment. Supervisors Candace Andersen and John Gioia took about three minutes and 20 minutes, respectively, to demonstrate their concern. Supervisors Ken Carlson and Diane Burgis didn’t bother.

The greatest offender was Glover, who neither asked nor commented about anything, despite being supervisor for Rodeo, the unincorporated, disadvantaged community where P66 operates. He simply ushered P66 down the aisle, offering our community as a dowry.

No matter his preferences or the eventual outcome, his failure in this forum to demonstrate active interest and consideration for the residents of “his” district amounts to dereliction of duty.

Erin Eilis

Antioch should adopt
ranked-choice voting

One of the most basic principles of democracy is majority rule, but guess what? Antioch does not have majority rule. Our mayor and City Council members are often elected without a majority. This happened in 2020 and 2022 in multiple contests. That is unacceptable.

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) gives a majority winner in a single high-turnout election. It is very easy for voters. Your No. 1 vote is for your favorite candidate, your No. 2 vote is for your backup candidate, etc. Elections tend to be positive and issue-oriented. There is no worry about splitting the vote, and usually, more candidates run. RCV is used all over California and the United States. Voters like it. It is a proven system. RCV gives voters more choice and more voice.

Antioch needs RCV. Please contact your council member and mayor.

Robert Bruce

14th Amendment could
help avoid violence

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is plain and clear. It appears that the U.S. Supreme Court will bend over backward to find a way to keep Donald Trump on the ballots and in the process violate their Oath of Office to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.

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The most-often-heard defense is that we the people should decide when we vote. However, we should remember what happened the last time we the people voted. Trump will, again, refuse to accept any result he doesn’t agree with and we could be in the same predicament of chaos, threats and denials.

If Trump were to win, it would be embarrassing as he takes the Oath of Office while, in fact, he is violating it.

Frank Grygus
San Ramon