Pleasanton City Councilmember Julie Testa Endorses Pamela Price for Alameda County District Attorney

Special to the Vanguard

Pleasanton, CA – Pleasanton City Councilmember Julie Testa announced on February 14th her endorsement of Pamela Price for Alameda County DA. Testa was elected to the Pleasanton City Council in November 2018. She is a 30-year resident of Pleasanton and has a lengthy history of civic participation within the community, including 11 years of service as a Human Services Commissioner, a board member for Tri-Valley REACH and the Tri-Valley chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

“Pamela Price is bringing smart and compassionate plans to the table in this race for District Attorney,” stated Testa. “Her commitment to a compassionate response to mental illness and substance use will support first responders and bolster public safety.”

Recently, Testa and the Pleasanton City Council took on the mental health intervention alternatives as a tool to support law enforcement and public safety. Pleasanton, like many cities in the East Bay will be sending health professionals along with police officers to many calls for help when a person is experiencing a mental health crisis.

“Julie’s vote of confidence in my campaign is a testament to my commitment to change the way in which justice is administered in Alameda County. Our system is failing when we criminalize individuals who are mentally ill. said Price. “Julie’s work to create the Mental Health Response Program and her work with REACH and NAMI shows her determination to make sure that we have a DA that is not “throwing away people” but instead providing pathways to support and restorative justice for victims.”

“I attended Pamela’s forum on Serious Mental Illness and Justice Reform, she listened to stories from families who have found no justice for their loved ones who live with serious mental illness,” said Testa. “She brought forward compassionate and measured solutions and has been the only candidate working to bring families and victims to the table to find a solution.”

“It takes courage and commitment to stand up to the status quo and fight for change – I trust Pamela Price to do just that,” added Testa. “Her trailblazing experience in holding corporations, government, and our justice system accountable will usher in a new era of needed change at the county level.”

Providing trained mental health support for moments of mental health crisis will be key to stopping the over-criminalization of individuals with serious mental illness. So will Pamela’s plan to expand the criteria of the County’s Behavioral Mental Health & Drug Courts. In fact, a recent report, the US. Department of Justice chastised the leadership in the DA’s office for not utilizing the diversion court system.

The DOJ study found that from 2009 to 2017, only 229 cases were prosecuted in the Behavioral Health Court in Alameda County. That is barely two cases per month every year. This pathway to solutions for those with mental health issues could be so more effective if we moved more resources and cases in this direction.

Pamela’s platform is resonating with community leaders and voters. Pamela is also endorsed by Shaun King’s Real Justice PAC, the national Elect Black Women PAC, ATU Local 192 and ILWU Local 10 – both powerhouses in social justice and workers’ rights – and Alameda County elected leaders, Albany Mayor Ge’Nell Gary, Berkeley City Councilmember Kate Harrison, San Leandro Vice Mayor Victor Aguilar, Emeryville Vice Mayor Scott Donahue, Fremont City Councilmember Jenny Kassan and Livermore City Councilmember Brittni Kiick.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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