Policing Review and Racial Equity

September 10, 2020: On September 8, the Alameda Police Reforms Citizens' Committees met in a kick off convening. You can view the presentation and agenda here(PDF, 1MB). The accordions below have been updated to include members of the 5 task forces. The next meeting is scheduled to take place September 22, 2020, at 6:30pm.

August 28, 2020: The response from community members interested in joining a task force was overwhelming. Today, invitations were sent to community members invited to participate in the process of improving police and community relations and policies, asking for their task force placement preference. Many more emails were sent thanking community members who the Steering Committee was not able to place on a task force at the present time. The task force accordion below will be updated with member names as soon as they are assigned. The City Manager will present an update from the Steering Committee and Task Forces at a City Council meeting in October. As soon as the agenda is posted, we will include it here.

August 11, 2020: The City Manager appointed a Steering Committee (see accordion below) that will take the lead in developing a community-led process and work plans to address the future of policing and systemic racism in Alameda. The Steering Committee has the responsibility for selecting individual task force members (see accordion below) to review each topic area and develop a work plan. The Steering Committee and the topic task forces are supported by the City Manager’s Office.

See the Previous Updates Accordion below for updates from June and July, 2020.

The City Manager appointed a Steering Committee that will take the lead in developing a community-led process and work plans to address the future of policing and systemic racism in Alameda.

The newly appointed Steering Committee includes Christine Chilcott, Al Mance, Cheryl Taylor, and Jolene Wright.

The Steering Committee appointed members to five task forces:

  • Unbundling Services Currently Delivered by the Police Department
  • A Review of Police Department Policies and Practices
  • Police Department Accountability and Oversight
  • A Review of Laws that Criminalize Survival
  • Systemic and Community Racism/Anti-Racism

Please see the tabs below for more information about each task force including membership.

Selection Process

We received 250 requests for inclusion. The response was overwhelming and we are thankful that so many residents are interested in getting involved.

We received a wide range of responses across a wide range of professions - PhDs, former law enforcement, lawyers, realtors, social justice and community organizers, and high school students. We tried to be diverse in our selections. 

Christine Chilcott, CEO of Girls Inc. of the Island City, has been an Alameda resident with her husband and two daughters for nine years. She is starting her fifth year on the Social Services and Human Relations Board (SSHRB) for the City of Alameda as well her second year as SSHRB President. She is honored to be on the Police Taskforce Steering Committee. 

Cheryl Taylor and her family have lived in the Fernside neighborhood since 2006. Over the years, she has served her community in a variety of ways. Cheryl co-founded an Oakland community-based federal credit union and is a former supervisory committee member on the San Francisco Federal Credit Union. Cheryl also served on the governing board of the Community Learning Center Schools, Inc., the corporation managing Nea and Alameda Community Learning Center charter schools. She is a former Girl Scout troop leader and current treasurer for the Alameda Girl Scouts service unit. At present, she is collaborating with her fellow Alamedans to relaunch the Alameda Island NAACP.  

Cheryl has a strong interest in good governance and equity, gained from her professional experience of two decades in the public and private sectors. Currently, she is interim Finance Director at the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department (SFJPD), on an eighteen month loan from the SF Public Utilities Commission. At SFJPD, she manages the department’s $42 million budget and spending. She is on the team leading her department’s work developing a racial equity action plan as part of the City and County’s overall effort to address San Francisco’s anti-Black racism and general inequities faced by people of color. Cheryl is on an eighteen-month loan from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), where she played a variety of roles in finance, energy and strategy. At SFPUC, Cheryl coordinated financing efforts to launch CleanPowerSF, the city’s clean energy program. She continues to play a key role in the SFPUC’s cost recovery efforts in the wake of the 2013 Rim Fire and 2018 March Floods affecting the organization’s upcountry headquarters. She and three colleagues received the Public Managerial Excellence Award in 2014 sponsored by SPUR for their leadership.   

Cheryl holds an A.B. from Stanford University in U.S. History and a Master of City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Ins. 

Jolene Wright has been lucky enough to call Alameda home since her migration from the brutal East Coast Winters in 2002.

With over 15 years of experience in branding, product / service innovation, and storytelling for brands across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, Jolene looks forward to working with the City of Alameda as part of the Steering Committee on Policing and Racial Reforms.

In her spare time (Pre-Covid), Jolene could be found enjoying all that Alameda and the Greater East Bay have to offer with her husband and two kids. Currently, she’s acting as Chief Learning Coordinator (while managing her team of thinkers and makers at a bi-coastal design studio as the Operations Manager).

Unbundling Services Currently Delivered by the Police Department

Task Force members:

  • Katherine Schwartz

  • Teresa Whinery

  • Jill Ottaviano 

  • Erin Fraser

  • Debra Mendoza (Chairperson)

  • Venecio Camarillo

  • Jono Soglin

  • Lynn Cunningham

  • Beth Kenny

  • Angel Hunter

  • George Arroyo


A Review of Police Department Policies and Practices

Task Force members:

  • Gretchen Hoff Varner

  • Danielle Motley-Lewis

  • Al Mance (Chairperson)

  • Serena Chen

  • Ivy Leichman

  • Julie Norris 

  • Peter Onderwater 

  • Emily Langworth


Police Department Accountability and Oversight

Task Force members:

  • Nicolette Martz

  • Ayse Sercan

  • Laura Fries

  • Nairobi Taylor

  • Jennifer Rakowski

  • Melodye Montgomery 

  • Jim Meyers

  • Gavin Maxwell (Co-Chairperson)

  • Sean Cahill (Co-Chairperson)

  • Michael Robles-Wong 

A Review of Laws that Criminalize Survival

Task Force members:

  • Ert O'Hara

  • Barbara Caulfield

  • Amy Gong Liu (Chairperson)

  • Meredith Akers 

  • Rev. Myrna Bernaddal Huey 

  • Elisha Wilson 

  • Michael Hulihan

  • Pamela Waters-Rolleri 

  • Sheri Smith 

Systemic and Community Racism/Anti-Racism

Task Force members:

  • Bassey Obot

  • Leslie Van Every

  • Madlen Saddik

  • DeeDe Lewis (Co-Chairperson)

  • Andrea Carlise

  • Raquel Williams

  • Shani Williams

  • Dr. Richard L. McCline

  • Rosemary Jordan

  • Heather Reed (Co-Chairperson)

  • Sharron Smith Mauney 

  • Hannah Groce

  • Fredrick Alexander 

  • Christine Chilcott

  • Pravda Wright  


July 27, 2020: Call to participate in community-led task forces

July 21, 2020: The City Council received an update from the City Manager and provided feedback on the task force topic areas (see below) and authorized the Mayor to sign letters of support for State legislation on police reform.

July 16, 2020: District Attorney Declines To File Charges Following Police Incident on May 23, 2020 in the City of Alameda.

July 2, 2020: City hires Alfonso Estrada to conduct independent investigation of May 23 arrest of Alameda resident.

June 29, 2020: The City Council authorized a community-led process to address previously identified topics, including police department services, policies and practices, and oversight possibilities, as well as systemic/anti-racism and laws that criminalize survival.

June 19, 2020: Update on actions taken at City Council meetings held on June 16 and June 17.

June 17, 2020: At a Special City Council Meeting, the City Council provided direction regarding Former President Obama’s Mayor’s Pledge and the “8 Can’t Wait” initiative and approved a framework for future discussions with the community, including the following topic areas:

  • Unbundling Services Currently Delivered by the Police Department
  • A Review of Police Department Policies and Practices
  • Police Department Accountability and Oversight
  • A Review of Laws that Criminalize Survival
  • Systemic and Community Racism/Anti-Racism

June 17, 2020: Alameda Mayor's address: City to Weigh Public Safety Overhaul.

June 16, 2020: Statement regarding police reforms.

June 16, 2020: The City Council provided direction to the City Manager regarding the Police Department’s budget.

June 5, 2020: City Releases Body Worn Camera Footage of May 23 Police Detainment of African American Resident

June 4, 2020: Statement on releasing police video.

June 3, 2020: City Manager statement regarding police response to incident.