Supporting El Cerrito City Council's Leadership on Jail Expansion Opposition

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On April 4th, the El Cerrito City Council voted unanimously to approve Councilmember Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto's recommendation to oppose the proposed expansion of the West County detention facilities in Richmond. Instead, the El Cerrito City Council asked the Board of Supervisors to consider using funds to develop services to prevent incarceration, reduce recidivism, and provide community-based mental health services. Particularly in light of the recent closure of Doctors Medical Center, investing in a jail expansion rather than healthcare was considered by the City Council to be troubling. This decision was made in light of great community support. 

On April 17th, Sheriff Livingston made a retaliatory threat against the city of El Cerrito for taking this position, including canceling a five-year contract for dispatch services.

We, the undersigned, are angered that Sheriff Livingston would use his elected position to take retaliatory measures against a local city and its residents for voicing an opinion. We thank the El Cerrito City Council members for their brave, progressive leadership in these uncertain times and for their willingness to speak truth to power. We encourage the El Cerrito City Council to continue their efforts to represent the voices of the people of our city in bold and forward-thinking ways. We are grateful for the City Council and the city staff's service to El Cerrito and its residents. 

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