‘Policing Practices’ was presented as a local recommendation at the League of Women Voters Convention in 2017. Since the Los Angeles League had been studying policing for many years, they were offering a carefully thought out position statement for concurrence. After their caucus, one of our own LWVBAE members put forward a motion to concur with LA’s position. There was an uproar regarding Rules, so the motion was withdrawn. The interest and enthusiasm that grew out of this interaction brewed the following actions.
LWVBAE joined with, along with other California local Leagues, LWVC to gather information about the Criminal Justice work being done by local Leagues across the country. A broad Position Statement was written as a result. Into 2018, monthly webinars were held to share concerns and support the work. At the 2019 League of Women Voters Convention in Pasadena, a stirring caucus was held, a formal verbal statement of rationale was heard just before the vote, and the delegates voted to concur. The Policing Position had become part of the State level program.
Shortly after the convention, LWVBAE members began attending the Berkeley Police Commission meetings. Observing this Commission at work was enjoyable and educational. When Measure ii came up on the ballot, a member reported with details about the proposal at the LWVBAE Pros & Cons webinar, and the measure was officially endorsed by the membership.
During the summer of 2020, Albany City Council began engaging their Social & Economic Justice Commission regarding social justice issues. LWVBAE interns and long-term members observed these meetings, and interns reported the activities in articles for public consumption.