I don’t know if it was intentional or just coincidence but the first two letters to the editor in the Alameda Journal/East Bay Times was nothing short of brilliant.
The first was a letter from Dan Wood regarding Jennifer Roloff’s problematic position on how a City, particularly this City, should respond to the epidemic of disproportionate police responses to routine scenarios involving Black people, particularly Black men. From the letter:
You should listen to the question and her full response online by searching YouTube for “Roloff CADC.” Notice that what she says doesn’t even come close to addressing the intent of the question. What is the threat she is talking about that we need our police to protect us from? Did the question confuse her, or is she genuinely in favor of acquiring or borrowing even more military equipment for our police department? Either way, this does not sound like somebody that I would be comfortable representing me in matters of city policy.
We are fortunate that such violent incidents by “bad apple” cops have not happened on our island, but as hatred and xenophobia erupts around the country, I’m worried that we must be proactive in making sure that all people are treated with due respect. We cannot afford to go in the direction that Roloff is advocating.
To contrast that, School Board candidate and current vice president of the Social Services Human Relations Board, Jennifer Williams, has suggested opening a dialogue about race relations in Alameda, from her letter:
Requests were made to SSHRB that it consider creating a community forum for open dialogue regarding these issues and the current state of race relations in Alameda.
As leaders of organizations in our community that may be affected by recent acts of violence in our state and nation, you may share the concerns of other Alamedans about the impact of these events on Alameda residents, particularly our children and young adults, as well as our dedicated law enforcement family.
Two candidates, two elected bodies, two vastly different positions on how to address the issues that are currently facing our country as a whole and should be addressed on a local level.