The Fresno Commission on Police Reform resumed business with a public meeting on Monday night that included more calls to defund the department. As it gets closer to the deadline for issuing its reform recommendations, the group continues to seek an extension of its 90-day mandate.
Also in Politics 101:
- D’Aungillique Jackson impresses commission colleagues.
- Public calls for defunding police.
- Fresno State researcher appointed to air board.
“While (the executive committee) have not said no, which I think is great, they have serious concerns about the time extension and how long it would be and what we would use it for,” commission chair Oliver Baines said during the Zoom meeting. “What has been made very clear to me is they want to see that we are making progress, and that we are taking this work seriously and then they are going to evaluate that.”
Baines anticipates an answer in two weeks. In the meantime, the four commission subcommittees are expected to submit their proposals for the next full meeting on Aug. 24.
Under the current timeline, final recommendations are expected to be delivered to the Fresno City Council in late September.
The MVP of the meeting was D’Aungillique Jackson, the president of the Fresno State NAACP. She also chairs the community input subcommittee.
Jackson impressed her colleagues with her thoughts on how to engage the community. She wants to survey at least 60,000 Fresnans for their thoughts on police.
But to make that happen, Jackson wants more time.
“If you want a genuine, realistic representation of what (your) community members want, then that needs to be an ideal number that we should all be reaching for,” Jackson said.
Jackson wants help from the Fresno State Sociology Department. She asked for $5,000 from the commission to make that happen.
She also wants more translations for the commission’s work, beyond Spanish, Hmong, and other languages.
“I also think we should be looking into translations which the city doesn’t offer … Swahili, Zulu, and Arabic,” Jackson said.
During public comments, Jackson was animated in her reaction, whether holding up a fist in solidarity or snapping in approval.
Public: Defund, Abolish
Of the 24 members of the public who commented during the commission meeting, all but one were critical of police. Phrases such as “defund” or “abolish” law enforcement were used.
Each of the four subcommittees — budget, training, community development, and community input — offered progress reports to the entire group. Subcommittees have been meeting in smaller, 10-person groups for the last few weeks.
Answering critics who questioned the participation of law enforcement representatives on the board, Judge Robert Oliver (retired) defended their role. Oliver chairs the budget subcommittee.
“The contributions of retired chief deputy chief (Greg) Garner, the contributions of Capt. Mark Salazar have been absolutely as proactive and thoughtful,” Oliver said. “My personal observation of these two retired and present officers as a member of our commission have been very productive.”
There are four new members on the commission added since its formation in mid-June: former city parks director (and retired law enforcement officer) Randy Cooper, Wells Fargo community relations consultant Sabrina Kelley, Fresno American Indian Health Project board chair Pam Coronado, and Abeena Cruise.
Governor Appoints Pacheco-Werner to Air Board
Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed medical sociologist Tania Pacheco-Werner to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District on Tuesday.
Air quality is in Pacheco-Werner’s wheelhouse. She is the assistant co-director at the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State.
Pacheco-Werner has researched air quality and the effect on birth outcomes and neighborhood impacts. She says there are many sources of the Valley’s air pollution.
“The challenges that we face come from everything from where we are, just on the map in terms of how our air flows, to actors that also drive our economy — such as transportation, agriculture and also oil and gas, among other big manufacturing. So it’s really a lot and it’s a complex issue,” Pacheco-Werner told Politics 101.
The governor gets to make two picks on the 15-member air board. The seat has been vacant since last fall. Pacheco-Werner replaces her boss at CVHPI, John Capitman. He last attended a meeting in December 2018. and has since moved out of town.