daily californian logo

BERKELEY'S NEWS • JANUARY 30, 2023

Ring in the New Year with our 2023 New Year's Special Issue!

District 15 candidates discuss police and housing at North Oakland forum

article image

SUPPORT OUR NONPROFIT NEWSROOM

We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

APRIL 09, 2018

California State Assembly District 15 candidates convened Thursday evening at the North Oakland Senior Center to address various topics, including police accountability, adolescent brain development, community college tuition, housing justice and pension.

Ten out of the 12 candidates vying for the Assembly seat were present at the public forum, which was hosted by the League of Women Voters, including Buffy Wicks, Owen Poindexter, Ben Bartlett, Cheryl Sudduth, Jovanka Beckles, Raquella Thaman, Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto, Dan Kalb, Andy Katz and Sergey Piterman.

On the topic of police accountability, candidates were asked if they would support the newly proposed AB 931, which, according to the forum host, would authorize “deadly force only when it is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury” and encourage “officers to defuse confrontations or use less deadly weapons.” The candidates unanimously supported the bill, resulting in fervent applause.

“In addition, I support Nancy Skinner’s bill, which would create accountability by requiring the disclosure of police shooting investigations,” Wicks said during the forum. “We also need implicit bias training for our police officers in order to rebuild trust.”

The issue of prosecuting youth as adults was also put forward. In consideration of the “great deal” of research indicating that the adolescent brain is not fully developed until the age of 24, candidates were asked to share how they would address the issue in Sacramento.

As a mental health specialist, Beckles suggested increasing mental health services.

Kalb said he supports restructuring juvenile detention centers to be “juvenile rehabilitation centers.” According to Kalb, by redirecting money from prison guards to rehabilitation services, this transition is feasible.

Although set to last two hours, the forum stretched out to nearly three hours, with audience members opting to stay longer to take photos and shake hands with the candidates. In the gradually emptying auditorium, Jillian Kathie, a special education teacher from Berkeley, voiced her endorsement of candidates who address mental health.

“As a teacher for students with special needs, I want to vote for someone who will destigmatize disability, whether mental or physical, and increase funding for mental health services,” Kathie said. “Candidates Beckles and Wicks spoke about this the most.”

Dolores Celestina, a restaurant owner from El Cerrito, also expressed her views on the ideal candidate, adding her thoughts on which candidate she thought was most likely to win.

“I have confidence in candidate Sudduth the most. To me, she has the right amount of passion, authenticity and experience working on racial justice and human rights to lead us,” Celestina said. “The reaction from the audience made me think Bartlett, Wicks and Beckles are in the lead.”

Contact Nicholas Olivares at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @nicholivares.
LAST UPDATED

APRIL 11, 2018


Related Articles

featured article
As local and statewide races for the 2018 election heat up, Dan Kalb won the endorsement of California State Treasurer John Chiang and California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in his campaign for the California State Assembly District 15 seat.
As local and statewide races for the 2018 election heat up, Dan Kalb won the endorsement of California State Treasurer John Chiang and California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in his campaign for the California State Assembly District 15 seat.
featured article
featured article
Cheryl Sudduth, a longtime resident and activist in the East Bay, announced Aug. 14 that she will be joining a growing field of candidates for the California 15th State Assembly District election in 2018.
Cheryl Sudduth, a longtime resident and activist in the East Bay, announced Aug. 14 that she will be joining a growing field of candidates for the California 15th State Assembly District election in 2018.
featured article
featured article
Buffy Wicks, a former White House official and adviser to former president Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, announced last week her intent to run for the California 15th State Assembly District seat in 2018.
Buffy Wicks, a former White House official and adviser to former president Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, announced last week her intent to run for the California 15th State Assembly District seat in 2018.
featured article