A New Sheriff In Town (Please!)
The RPA may be gearing up for Richmond citywide races, but one race that may go unopposed is the Contra Costa Sheriff’s race.
Judith Tannenbaum’s OpEd in the East Bay Times points out, “March 9 is a few weeks away, so there’s still hope that someone who better represents Contra Costa will file to run against the sheriff. However, even if Livingston runs unopposed, we must speak out against his record and speak out for a vision of public safety and justice that is more consistent with our values.” And excerpt of her OpEd is below:
My Word: Where are the candidates to oppose Contra Costa Sheriff Livingston?
Where is the sheriff Contra Costa County needs? Candidates have until March 9 to file for the June 5 election but, so far, only Sheriff David Livingston has signed up.
A sheriff, of course, runs the county jail system and decides how that system will operate. A sheriff can create a system based on the awareness that criminal acts are often a consequence of the racial and economic inequities that shape every aspect of life — from health care to education to workplaces to housing to transportation. A sheriff can learn from the people most affected by these inequities, listening to the personal stories that illuminate shared circumstances. And a sheriff can not only listen but also respond by providing alternatives to imprisonment, by recognizing that jail is no place for the mentally ill, and by offering the deep and substantive programming that encourages rehabilitation.
Or a sheriff can operate as David O. Livingston has, running our county jail system with the wrong-headed ideas and practices similar to those that resulted in three decades of nationwide mass incarceration.
For example, Sheriff Livingston contracts with ICE to hold immigrant detainees in the West County Detention Facility. At a time when SB54 is law and California a sanctuary state, this contract is a clear sign of how out of step our sheriff is with county and statewide values.
Click here to read the full OpEd.