NO SHERIFFS AT PERALTA COLLEGES - REAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES NOW! | #BlackMindsMatter

Chancellor Stanback-Stroud and the Board of Trustees of the Peralta Community College District (Laney College, Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Merritt College)

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#BLM Protest Oakland, CA June 3, 2020
THIS PETITION DEMANDS IMMEDIATE ACTIONS BE TAKEN TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THE PERALTA COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT IS AN ANTI-RACIST, PRO-SOCIAL JUSTICE INSTITUTION.

This petition urges the Peralta Community College District to terminate the PCCD $4.1 million contract with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and invest in Black and Brown students now! Take a stand and mobilize Peralta students, faculty and staff to get the state funding needed to CREATE REAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR BLACK AND BROWN STUDENTS TO THRIVE ACADEMICALLY AND BE SAFE!

Petition by
Kimberly King
Oakland, California

To: Chancellor Stanback-Stroud and the Board of Trustees of the Peralta Community College District (Laney College, Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Merritt College)
From: [Your Name]

This petition demands immediate actions be taken to demonstrate that the Peralta Community College District is an anti-racist, pro-social justice institution.

Black and Brown youth are under attack.

We the undersigned Peralta students, faculty, staff, and greater community reject talk and diversity training as the only responses to the racist and economic violence that infects our country when direct action is needed. The Minneapolis Police Department recently participated in extensive anti-bias training¹. It did not prevent the murder of George Floyd.

WE URGE YOU TO CREATE REAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR BLACK AND BROWN STUDENTS TO THRIVE ACADEMICALLY AND BE SAFE!

The Peralta District should stop paying Alameda County Sheriffs to police our students and should mobilize the Peralta community to push the Governor and State Legislature to do their jobs and provide the necessary education funding to show that #BlackLivesMatter and #BlackMindsMatter in Peralta. We do not accept the bipartisan consensus of austerity! The wealth is available in California to fully fund educational opportunities - just tax those who can afford it. What is lacking is the political will to do it. We can help with that.

We the undersigned urge that you:

1. TERMINATE THE PCCD $4.1 MILLION CONTRACT WITH THE ALAMEDA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND INVEST IN BLACK AND BROWN STUDENTS NOW! Some deputies are former prison guards and some have harassed students and made them feel unsafe on campus. The AC Sheriff’s dept led the region in civil rights settlements as of 2018².

2. IMPLEMENT COMMUNITY-MINDED CAMPUS SAFETY MEASURES by developing transparent guidelines and processes that include students, staff and faculty input in shaping a culture of public safety.

3. MOBILIZE THE PERALTA COMMUNITY TO TELL THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE "NO EDUCATION BUDGET CUTS! PROVIDE THE FUNDING TO MAKE #BLACKMINDSMATTER!" Gov. Newsom plans to cut $740 million from Community Colleges³ in the middle of a pandemic! Stand up for students, and we will support you!

4. PRIORITIZE FUNDING TO ENSURE STUDENT SAFETY AND REAL OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE #BLACKMINDSMATTER:

- PROVIDE SUFFICIENT FREE HEALTH RESOURCES including culturally informed healing, programs that offer relief from traumas related to law enforcement and the justice system, resources for Black trans students, and more Black and Brown Mental Health Counselors (Currently we have few counselors and long waitlists.)

- GUARANTEE STUDENT HOUSING The Housing Crisis is part of anti-Black inequality; over 70% of unhoused folks in Oakland are Black⁴. (Currently we only offer referrals to homeless shelters.)

- FEED ALL HUNGRY STUDENTS by providing nutritional food pantries year round. (Several food insecurity programs could be eliminated as early as Fall 2020 by currently planned budget cuts.)

- END THE DIGITAL DIVIDE by providing FREE home Wi-Fi, up-to-date laptop loaners, and FREE training for ALL students who need it to engage effectively in online learning during the COVID19 pandemic stay home orders.

- PROVIDE ENOUGH CLASSES THAT MEET REQUIREMENTS so students can graduate in 2 years instead of 6 or 7 if they want to!!!

- HIRE MORE PART-TIME FACULTY AS FULL-TIMERS, ESPECIALLY BLACK & BROWN FACULTY who are committed to anti-racist teaching and organizing. (Currently 70% of Peralta faculty are part-time without full resources or time to serve students.)

- HIRE MORE TUTORS so students can successfully complete courses.

- IMPROVE ENROLLMENT PROCEDURES that cause unnecessary early class cuts, including updating Peralta’s antiquated ineffective online system and extending enrollment periods through the first week of classes.

- HIRE MORE CLASSIFIED PROFESSIONALS to support understaffed departments (e.g., more instructional aids for CTE programs, custodial, groundskeeping and engineering staff, Information and Technology professionals to support online services, administrative support for academic department chairs)

- BUILD ON AND ENSURE THAT INDUSTRY/ACADEMIC PIPELINES PRIORITIZE HIRING/ADMITTING BLACK AND BROWN STUDENTS in tech, science, humanities, the arts, and all fields.

Use this moment to make a difference NOW!
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References

1. “The answer to police violence is not 'reform'. It's defunding. Here's why.” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/31/the-answer-to-police-violence-is-not-reform-its-defunding-heres-why

2. “Alameda County Leads Region in Civil Rights Payouts” https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/alameda-county-leads-region-in-civil-rights-payouts/Content?oid=17991968

3. “State Cuts Grow Deep”
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/05/15/size-state-budget-cuts-becomes-clearer

4. “Oakland homeless camps point to racial bias” https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Oakland-homeless-camps-point-to-racial-bias-11260015.php