Two bad bills -- AB 1279 (opposed by City of LB) and AB 3107 -- are now dead (a victory, pulled by their author.)
On Aug. 6 three other bad bills were approved by the State Senate Housing Committee: AB 725, AB 2345 (lets developers override city standards on height, open space, parking, setbacks, side yards and other careful planning) and AB 3040 (lets cities "upzone" single-family areas to fourplexes)
On Aug. 11, SB 1120 (co-authored by state Senator Lena Gonzalez, it would crush single-family zoning, allowing 4 market-rate homes where a one home now stands) and SB 902 will be heard in the Ass'y Local Gov't Committee. SB 902 lets city councils toss out voter-approved protection of lands.
SB 1085, SB 995 remain problematic.
LB Council To Discuss/Vote (Aug. 11) To Adopt These Public Safety/Policing Changes As Part Of Racial Equity/Reconciliation Policies
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(Aug. 11, 2020, 5:55 a.m.) -- The Long Beach;City Council is scheduled to vote on August 11 on multiple Racial Equity and Reconciliation policies that include significant changes to policing and how City Hall defines public safety in Long Beach. LBREPORT.com details the public safety/policing changes below.
As separately reported by LBREPORY.com, city management moved discussion of LBPD's proposed FY 21 budget from Aug. 11 to Aug. 18 (after Council discussion of the proposed public safety/policing policy changes.)
An attached Racial Equity/Reconciliation Initiative report indicates that city-staff conducted public discussions of the proposed policies involved, in the aggregate, 560 individuals "in the community listening sessions and town halls" of which "some" (doesn't indicate ow many) were repeats at multiple sessions. [From this, the report concludes "over 1,500 voices" took part across the sessions "when adding attendance at all sessions together." LB's population is over 472,000.]
The city-staff condcted discussions didn't focus on discussion of the Mayor/Council's record on police budgeting but did invite discussion of defunding/redirecting police funding. (A 2009-2015 defunding eliminated roughly 20% of LB's citywide deployable police level and the current Mayor/Council have't resored roughly 180 officers erased and not replaced (including LBPD's field anti-gang unit.) LB's current per capita police level for taxpayers is significantlhy thinner than Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Signal Hill. and Mayor Garcia has recommended, a FY 21 budget that would defund 51 additional citywidde sworn officers, "replace" 34 with civilians and eliminate 20 others outright.
[Scroll down for further.]
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The policies proposed for Council approval on Aug. 11 (detailed below) include: "Strengthen funding, capacity, resources, and visibility of local community based violence prevention/intervention models and gang outreach programs, including intervention workers, youth employment programs, summer programming, safe passages, and other best practices."
Among areas not mentioned for change: (1) LBPD's current practice of not separately listing the number and location of shootings among LBPD's crime statistics (currently combined among "aggravated assaults") and (2) LBPD's current practice of not tracking or reporting the demographics (race/ethnicity) of neighborhood victims of mainly gang-related shootings (disproportionately impacting mainly LB working class areas, an inequity LBREPORT.com has editorially deplored as a "tale of two cities."). In contrast, LBPD-involved shootings and public encounters are tracked and publicly reported..
[From City staff Aug 11 agendizing memo text]
The attached Racial Equity and Reconciliation Initiative report identifies a list of strategies and potential actions to
guide the City in attaining its racial equity goals:
1. End systemic racism in Long Beach, in all local government and partner agencies,
through internal transformation;
2. Design and invest in community safety and violence prevention;
3. Redesign police approach to community safety; and,
4. Improve health and wellness in the City by eliminating social and economic disparities
in the communities most impacted by racism.
Before the plan is final, the Mayor and City Council will review this report and provide direction to staff regarding the contents, objectives, strategies, and implementation.
The Proposed FY 21 Budget includes $3.3 million in funds to invest in this effort, $2.5 million in structural funds and approximately $782,000 in one-time funds. The actual implementation of the recommended programs is anticipated to have a substantial staffing impact beyond the normal budgeted scope of duties, but it is consistent with the existing City Council top priorities to address the Reconciliation efforts.
Proposed public safety/policing changes
The racial/equity public public safety/policing changes are detailed in two of four goals below:
Goal 2: Design and invest in community safety and violence prevention
Redirect General Fund and other funding sources to invest in community resources and alternative non-law enforcement programs for violence prevention, (e.g., public health, HEART, behavioral health specialists, psychologists, counselors, therapists, recreational therapists, substance abuse rehabilitation, and domestic violence).
Redefine public safety to include social infrastructure support so that more programs are eligible for public safety specific revenues.
Identify new ongoing revenue streams to augment City investment.
Invest in civilianization of services that can be performed by civilian staff rather than Police Officers.
Review all City programs related to violence prevention, family building/development, and youth development to identify which programs
work and which do not work. Build on programs that are working and improve/invest in programs that are not working.
Create and implement a collective framework for community-based violence prevention, focusing on de-escalation and trauma-informed
training of community members to utilize in community conflict to reduce potential police involvement, centering the needs of survivors, and building intercommunity relations.
Conduct an inventory of violence prevention and youth development programs already operating in Long Beach to further develop a network of providers, catalyze collaboration, and publicize available services.
Strengthen funding, capacity, resources, and visibility of local communitybased violence prevention/intervention models and gang outreach programs, including intervention workers, youth employment programs, summer programming, safe passages, and other best practices.
Invest in upstream violence prevention strategies such as living wage jobs, affordable housing, healthy communities and other social services that will ensure sustainable violence prevention.
Host meetings, dialogues, and events that continue to engage and connect residents to efforts that increase community safety.
Create and strengthen connections with community and government partners such as Los Angeles County Office of Diversion and Reentry and
Department of Probation to better coordinate case management and reentry services.
Explore the creation of a safe space and one-stop location re-entry with services related to mental health, housing, substance abuse, legal services, counseling, advocacy/leadership development, and workforce development services.
Explore strategies to increase affordable and supportive housing opportunities for the reentry population.
Invest in new or existing non-law enforcement community-based reentry services such as housing, case management, job training, social enterprise opportunities, counseling, education, legal services, advocacy and leadership development.
Create support services for family reunification of re-entry population with a focus on parents who face barriers re-engaging with their children.
Invest in marketing and communications campaigns in partnership with existing organizations to increase awareness of existing reentry services.
Utilize Pacific Gateway programs to employ formerly justice-involved individuals.
Goal 3: Redesign police approach to communitu safety
...Following the tragic killing of George Floyd, the Long Beach community called for the reimagining of police practices and assurances that none would disproportionately and negatively impact the Black community and communities of color. An example of reimaging police practice includes identifying calls for service that may be better handled by mental health professionals or homeless outreach workers rather than police. The City of Long Beach, including LBPD, will work in a collaborative partnership with community stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition of civilianizing some of the tasks traditionally performed by law enforcement to enhance community safety.
The community also has called for strengthened police officer training, accountability, and hiring practices. Consistent with these goals, LBPD has been working towards implementing an Early Intervention Program to identify potential personnel issues before they become larger
problems. LBPD will also expand training options beyond the current curriculum, to address the concerns of the community and follow best
practices. Additionally, the City’s Innovation Team conducted a year-long Recruitment Study as a first step toward reviewing and improving
Police Department hiring practices.
Create non-police, civilian emergency response teams to respond to nonviolent calls for service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Explore existing best practice models of civilian emergency response teams.
Create an alternate phone number and dispatch system for non-violent emergency calls for service, with the engagement of mental health
professionals in trauma-informed crisis response. Effectively outreach and publicize the alternate response team and non-violent emergency phone number to the entire City.
Address homelessness with the primary focus on coordinated service delivery of homeless support services led by non-law enforcement
providers such as outreach workers, medical personnel, mental health workers, and others.
Implement short-term reforms to the Citizen’s Police Complaint Commission (CPCC) such as:
1. Direct the CPCC to issue quarterly reports
2. Institute commissioner training led by the City Attorney’s office
3. Provide officer compelled statements to the CPCC
Engage in a formal outside expert study of the Citizen’s Police Complaint Commission (CPCC), to identify necessary changes to its structure and explore creation of a new civilian police oversight body based on models from other California municipalities. Conduct further community outreach to ensure reforms and/or a new oversight body meet community needs.
Increase funding to CPCC to expand investigative capacity.
Implement early intervention programs for problematic police employees to interrupt adverse patterns of behavior.
Provide ongoing training on implicit bias, de-escalation techniques, procedural justice, systemic racism, trauma-informed response, racial sensitivity, mental health, and disabilities.
Review Civil Service hiring processes of police officers to better reflect community demographics and lived experiences.
1. Explore higher standards of education and/or experience for police officers at time of hire and methods to ensure there are not barriers to recruitment of diverse applicants.
2. Reexamine background checks, psychological assessments, and other screening mechanisms that disproportionately exclude Black people
and people of color.
Review Civil Service Policy and standards of conduct to ensure zero tolerance of police officer activity with violent extremist groups.
Explore the practice of facial recognition technology and other predictive policing models and their disproportionate impacts on Black people and people of color by reviewing evidence-based practices.
Reexamine metrics currently used for Officer success and promotion.
Explore the disproportionate policing of the Black community and communities of color.
1. Include a review of best practices of Internal Affairs structure and staffing.
2. Hold a public study session with the City Council to review police reporting metrics, how data is used, data transparency efforts, call for service data, and methods to improve transparency and accountability.
Participate in policy reform efforts at the State and Federal levels to:
1. Establish a federal or statewide database of complaints against police officers to inform hiring decisions.
2. Strengthen whistleblower protections for officers or staff reporting police misconduct.
3. Improve transparency around acts of misconduct to improve public trust.
4. Remove provisions that prohibit people reentering society from accessing services, employment, and housing.
Work with LBUSD to reduce use of School Police and review alternative models.
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