ACLU NorCal Breaks Tradition, Weighs in on Alameda County District Attorney Recall – Urges Voters to Oppose Petition, Support Civil Liberties

By The Vanguard Staff

OAKLAND, CA – The ACLU of Northern California made an exception Monday and took a position—it said for only the “second time” ever—on a local candidate issue, strongly urging Alameda County residents to oppose the recall petition against Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price. 

In what it called a “disclaimer,” the ACLU of Northern California wrote, it “does not take positions for or against candidates for office, but when a recall is about the civil liberties record of an elected official, we can speak out. And we do so now, for only the second time in a local recall.”

 The ACLUNC said it has “strong opposition to the recall of Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price, the first Black woman DA in the county’s history.”

“People who live in Alameda County have valid concerns about public safety. We understand the anger and frustration. But we also know that holding a recall election, just 11 months after Price assumed office, is a rash move by recall supporters that will fix nothing,” added the ACLUNC.

“To blame DA Price for crime problems that have been decades in the making is blatantly dishonest. We urge voters to educate themselves on the issues and reject the politics of fear which are a cynical effort to roll back criminal justice reforms,” argued the ACLU chapter.

Noting, “Price was decisively elected on a platform that challenged the status quo by promising meaningful and compassionate public safety solutions that are consistent with the values of civil liberties and civil rights that Alameda County residents voted for and the ACLU supports,” ACLUNC said. “During her short time in office, she has held individuals who commit serious crimes accountable.” 

“Yet at the same time, Price has acknowledged the baked in racism within the criminal legal system and advocated for policies that would reduce mass incarceration. Price has also made it a priority to prosecute rogue cops, finally holding police accountable to the public they have sworn to protect,” praised the ACLUNC.

The civil liberties group reminded voters, “We have been down this road before. Let’s remember what happened in San Francisco. Voters were misled into believing that recalling District Attorney Chesa Boudin would make the city safer. But since Boudin was recalled and replaced with a prosecutor who claimed she was going to be ‘tough on crime,’ crime rates have gone up.”

“A recall in Alameda County will likewise not make our community safer, said Yoel Haile, director of the criminal justice program at the ACLU of Northern California. The campaign to recall Pamela Price is a cynical attempt to slam the door on progress and undermine the will of voters.”

Recognizing, “Recall supporters have raised more than $500,000 in their undemocratic quest,” the ACLUNC said, “This recall effort is part of a broader strategy to remove progressive, pro-reform elected officials because of their work to advance civil liberties.

“If these types of recalls are successful, especially in this case of arguably one of the most progressive DAs in the state and country, it will have a chilling effect. It would impact the ability of elected officials with strong civil liberties values to act courageously due to fears that they could suffer the same fate,” said Abdi Soltani, executive director of the ACLU of Northern California.

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  1. Keith Olsen

    Crime is way up in Oakland.  Watch the video of the brazen robbery in broad daylight:

    There have been 3,279 robberies this year in Oakland, a 35 percent increase from the previous year.
    Restaurants in Oakland have been losing thousands a week as diners have their cars and jewelry robbed mid meal – with locals now avoiding the city’s downtown area.

    1. David Greenwald

      The problem is correlation versus causation…

      Observe: “Oakland’s crime rates are significantly higher than those of other California cities. The Chronicle compared Oakland’s violent crime rate with those of eight other California cities closest to it in size and found that Oakland had the highest violent crime rate of all of them in 2022, with 1,500 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. ”

      That was in 2022. In other words, before Pamela Price. She hasn’t even been in office a year.

          1. David Greenwald

            The point being is that you wanted to give Jenkins a chance and gave Price even less of a chance.

          1. David Greenwald

            You created the standard – you said “Give DA Jenkins a chance” – I did not create that standard.

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