You are currently browsing: Posts Tagged ‘police accountability’
Our Community of Action Going Forward Together
by Liz Moore, PJALS Director
What I love most about PJALS is being part of a community of people who take action together based on the connections between human rights, economic justice, & peace.
Our Steering Committee asked you, PJALS members, to guide strategic planning for 2013-2014. We learned that you overwhelmingly support organizing to raise revenue & reject cuts as well as to counter the costs of militarism and to demand money for people, not for war. You’re also passionate about alternatives to incarceration & police accountability. You value that we create community together through our events & campaigns. You strongly support our Young Activist Leaders Program & our interns. You love our Action Conference. You want PJALS to continue to strengthen our connections with communities of color & with rural people.
Why prioritize those areas? Read more »
We did it! Yes on Prop 1!
By Michelle Little
After many years and a tremendous amount of effort by groups such as the Spokane Police Accountability and Reform Coalition, along with overwhelming support by local citizens of Spokane, we have taken a huge step in the right direction. By a landslide 70% vote Proposition 1, which mandates independent investigative authority and public reporting by the Spokane Police Ombudsman and creates a citizen oversight commission, has passed. Read more »
Progress NOT Roadblocks: PJALS Special Election Voter Guide
For the 2/12/13 City of Spokane special election – Please urge your friends to VOTE! Ballots will be mailed to registered voters on January 24 & must be returned by Tuesday February 12.
- Yes on Prop 1: Prop 1 will create permanent power for the Office of Police Ombudsman to independently investigate complaints against Spokane police officers and report findings to the public. It also gives the people of Spokane a voice by creating a citizen board to oversee the Ombudsman. Vote Yes to ensure that everyone in our community is treated fairly by law enforcement and to restore confidence and trust in our police department
- No on Prop 2: if passed, would place the power of governing in the hands of a radical minority by requiring a two thirds (5/7) supermajority vote requirement on selective tax measures. This means just 3 council members could block proposals to keep libraries open, support important life saving services such as EMS, and create jobs and attract tourism.
- Yes on Prop 3: which requests a dedicated levy for Library services at a rate of 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. Homeowners with a home valued at $100,000, would pay a meager $7 a year. The levy duration would be four years and allow for the restoration of regular hours at all branches including those in the lowest income neighborhoods.
Police Accountability: Urge City Council to vote YES on Charter Amendment
Monday Dec 17, 6:00 pm, City Council Chambers, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd
Please come urge City Council members to vote YES to send this Charter Amendment to voters. This Charter Amendment will give the Office of Police Ombudsman permanent independence and investigatory authority. No future contract with the Police Guild could be passed by the City that would conflict with the charter amendment, and this Charter Amendment could never be weakened by future council votes. It’s time to get it done! Learn more from the Center for Justice here and come show your support on Monday night!
Community Meeting for Police Accountability
Because of pressure and pushing from community members, Spokane has taken some steps forward on police accountability. But clearly we’re not done yet! Please come to this Community Meeting to to share your concerns, learn of new developments and, most importantly, find out what you can do to help! Meet other people and organizations that are involved in the fight and how you can become a part of what they are doing!
Spokane Police Accountability and Reform Coalition COMMUNITY MEETING
Wednesday Nov 14, 6:30 to 8:30pm
East Central Community Center, 500 W. Stone, in the Senior Area Read more »
KYRS Local News Nov 2
Highlights, history and analysis from Thursday’s news conference announcing the submission of a newly proposed Police Ombudsman Ordinance for the City of Spokane by the Center for Justice and the Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane. Includes and interview with Liz Moore, Director of PJALS.
Listen here: http://www.kyrs.org/mp3s/LocalNewsNov2final.mp3
PJALS supports new strong Police Oversight ordinance
Liz Moore, PJALS director, gave this statement at a PJALS and Center for Justice press conference this afternoon, where our organizations released a newly drafted ordinance strengthening independent oversight of the Spokane Police Department, with the support of the League of Women Voters.
The Peace and Justice Action League strongly supports this new strong Police Oversight ordinance because it does 3 completely critical things:
1. gives the Ombudsman investigative authority and mandates public reporting on investigations;
2. removes police unions from the process of selecting the Ombudsman responsible for oversight of the police department; and
3. creates a commission of community members to review and guide the Ombudsman’s work.
Police Accountability: a critical window opening now
Though the Zehm case has been settled, now is not the time for activists with our eyes on police accountability to settle in and get comfortable. The next year and a half is going to be critical. The landscape is shifting quickly as Mayor Condon brings in Frank Straub as new chief of police, among other changes current and on the horizon. Read more »
Tell the Mayor: We need a Police Ombudsman every day!
Public pressure works: The city announced today that Spokane Mayor David Condon will extend the contract of Police Ombudsman Tim Burns until the end of the year. More here!
Tonight, the Spokane City Council will vote on a resolution calling on Mayor Condon to keep Tim Burns in the Police Ombudsman position at least until a plan is in place to fill the position for the next 3-year term and to remove the Police Guild’s influence in the selection process. Will you attend or send a message to make your voice heard?
Condon dismissed Burns, the first Police Ombudsman, without a plan to fill the critical position. Read more »
Community Groups Urge Council and Mayor Not to Repeal 2010 Ombudsman Ordinance
Three Spokane public interest organizations who’ve been deeply involved in pushing Spokane city government toward independent oversight of its police department are calling upon the City Council and Mayor Mary Verner to maintain the independence of Spokane’s Office of Police Ombudsman.
In response to an arbitrator’s July 11, 2011 ruling—ordering the City to rescind its July 2010 ordinance (C-34609)—the City Council is scheduled to vote tonight to comply with the arbitrator’s ruling and repeal the ordinance.
“Just because the City has dug itself into a deep hole doesn’t mean it should give up,” the groups argue in their letter. “To repeal the ordinance will only deepen public frustration and undermine the City’s efforts to secure a collective bargaining agreement with the Guild that removes the union’s opposition to a credibly independent Ombudsman.”
The groups’ letter (attached) is highly critical of the City’s “painfully inept mishandling of the defense of the 2010 ordinance that brings us to this juncture.” Although the groups do not dispute a recent determination by David Gedrose of the state’s Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) that the City made a mistake and misled PERC when it sought to arbitrate the dispute with the Spokane Police Guild, neither do the groups believe that the City’s errors absolve PERC of its legal duty to review the 2010 ordinance on its merits—something it has not done.
“What’s deeply frustrating about the place the City finds itself in,” says Center for Justice Communications Director Tim Connor, “is that the City so badly botched its defense of the ordinance that PERC never actually reached the heart of the legal issue: Did the City have the legal authority to give the Ombudsman powers of independence or not? We think the law is clear that the 2010 ordinance is legal. But the law also says that only PERC or a state court have the authority to rule on that question. And neither have done so yet.”
The groups’ letter calls on the city council and Mayor Mary Verner to appeal the arbitration ruling while it negotiates a new contract with the Spokane Police Guild.