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    Taking Action to Stop Gun Violence in Oakland

    rebeccaEarlier this year, I fought for and won funding in the new City of Oakland budget to specifically focus on stopping gun crime. I have been working to get these funds implemented to stop gun violence and illegal gun dealing. This item is expected to be heard at the Public Safety Committee on November 10 and at the Oakland City Council meeting on November 17 at City Hall in the Chambers, commencing at 5:30 pm.

    Prior to the budget amendment, the City of Oakland had very little resources that were specifically devoted to stopping gun crime, and when notifications of shots being fired were triggered, there has not necessarily been an immediate police dispatch. Since the Council passed funding to stop gun violence and illegal gun dealing, I’ve been working with Oakland’s Police Department and the community for implementation plans. These plans will include launching a pilot program to immediately provide police response to notifications of gunshots. They also will include updating the technology and adding staffing for gun tracing efforts, which will improve our ability to solve gun crimes and, in turn, shut down more illegal gun sources.

    With the help of Oakland’s Police Department, the community and its leaders, I’m excited to get these plans implemented as soon as possible. I’m optimistic that by implementing these plans, it will build a reality and a reputation in Oakland that people cannot get away with gun violence and illegal gun dealing. People should not be allowed to profit by selling death into our communities.

    Public safety, gun crime and illegal gun dealing is not only a local problem, but also is an issue at all levels of government. More than 32,000 deaths occur each year in the United States due to gun violence, and there have been 150 school shootings since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012.

    That is why I have submitted a request for the City of Oakland to support improvements to gun control and bullet control in California, in the “Safety For All” initiative. The initiative, by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, will require that Californians report lost or stolen guns, prohibit the possession of military-style assault weapons and magazines, require background checks for ammunition sales just like gun sales, and will mandate California to share data with the FBI and National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

    In Oakland, we need to make sure we are devoting our vital public safety resources to stop the spread of gun dealing and gun violence and take action against the proliferation of guns and illegal gun dealing. Please come out on November 17 to the Oakland City Council meeting, commencing at 5:30 pm, to support the implementation plans for a safer Oakland and support the “Safety For All” initiative for a safer State.

    Oakland City Hall map:

    To sign up to speak at the event:

    Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide councilmember. She was re-elected in 2012 and serves currently as Vice Mayor. She is working for safe neighborhoods, for local jobs and for a fresh start for Oakland. Vice Mayor Kaplan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, obtained a Master’s degree from Tufts University and a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School.