In The News
San Jose Mercury News Says YES! on Measure ii
Excerpt from San Jose Mercury News editorial October 24, 2020:
Measure II — Yes
Police board: It makes sense to replace the city’s Police Review Commission, which was created in 1973, with a board with more authority. The new nine-member Police Accountability Board would be appointed by the mayor and City Council, hear complaints of police misconduct and recommend disciplinary action if needed. If the board and the police chief disagree on discipline, the city manager would make the final determination. That’s the appropriate hierarchy.
Berkeley League of Women Voters Recommends a YES Vote on Measure ii!
Green Party of Alameda County Endorsement of Berkeley Measure ii:
Measure II-Yes, Yes, Yes.
Police Accountability Charter Amendment
For nearly fifty years since, progressive people in Berkeley have yearned for truly independent
civilian oversight. In November, we finally have the chance to take a step in that direction with
This Charter Amendment will replace the Police Review Commission with a new Police
Accountability Board and Director that will have full access to internal BPD records and data,
allowing for better oversight of their practices and policies. The Amendment will also remove
the Board from the control of the City Manager, resolving a long-time conflict of interest that
curbed the PRC’s independence of action.
Measure II is supported by stalwart progressives including former Mayor Gus Newport, former
Councilmember Max Anderson, and Dr. Vicki Alexander. It also has support across the political
spectrum including all nine members of the city council. The measure is in line with the GPUSA
program that calls for the establishments of “elected or appointed independent civilian review
boards with subpoena power to investigate complaints about prison guard and community police
While we strongly support II, it is not because we see it as a panacea. It does not directly cure the
BPD’s racial discrimination nor place management of the department under community control.
The proposal must be read in the context of the popular movement to re-envision policing and
overturn white supremacy across the country.
In Berkeley the city council, under great community pressure, has agreed to at least study cutting
the police budget by 50%, establishing non-police responsibility for handling mental health and
homeless-related encounters, and the same for non-criminal parking and traffic incidents. Like
everywhere else, these moves are just the beginning of a probably titanic struggle with the police
union and its supporters. The ability for a civilian body to look under the hood of the BPD and
see how it really functions will be a great asset to the people’s movement to transform public
safety over the next several years.
The stakes are high. We need a landslide vote to force the city council to fully fund the new
Board in these austere times. People should bear in mind that the pandemic has multiplied
examples of guns drawn and less-lethal weapons used on Black people in Berkeley. The BPD’s
own data for the last five years show a clear pattern of racial discrimination in stops, searches,
and use of force.
Vote Yes on II.
Daily Californian Endorses Measure II