We can invest in our community for safer streets.

Facing its largest deficit in history, Oakland still found enough money in its budget to increase the Police Department's two-year budget $40 million to a whopping $722 million. Despite this increase, the number of officers is going down, and crime continues to rise. Just recently, OPD failed to effectively follow through on an application for a state grant to combat retail theft, costing Oakland millions in assistance. We must face the reality that taxpayer money is better spent on alternative policing strategies and investing in our community.

We must expand MACRO, increasing its capabilities and making sure non-emergency calls are properly diverted from OPD. We need to revitalize the Ceasefire program and rebuild the connections with our community. We must immediately modernize our 911 system using technology that the city has repeatedly failed to install over the past several years. I attended a Ride-Along with OPD and saw first hand that outdated software is hindering our officers ability to solve crime.

We should immediately fast-track public safety projects like the MacArthur BART 40th St Underpass Lighting Project, which, embarrasingly, isn't estimated to be complete for another 2 years, after already taking several years and millions of dollars to mock up a few light strips. At the nearby 45th St underpass, we need to establish a safety corridor for the children and residents of Longfellow, connecting them to Temescal. Longer term, we need to evaluate the damage that our interstates have wrought by eviscerating and isolating our communities, and take advantage of federal funds to right these wrongs.

And lastly, we must continue efforts to increase housing development and affordability, which directly impact crime rates.

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