Huge Common Ground Event

Last week Common Ground held a Public Safety Civic Academy to share community stories with our civic leaders in Vallejo. With over 100 in attendance, we spoke to the community including State Assembly Member Tim Grayson, City Manager Greg Nyhoff, and Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams. We had them listen to the months of research and stories gathered from our house meetings, then we asked some questions:   

-Chief Williams, we want to work WITH you to build a culture of true accountability. We know it will take time, but we believe the first step is for officers to listen. Will you work with us to organize listening sessions so our members can share stories like these directly with your officers? He answered, Yes! (Side Note: Sessions are being scheduled now!)

-Mr. Nyhoff, will you meet with Common Ground in the next month to discuss how Vallejo can build a police accountability model that has some real teeth? He answered, Yes! (Side Note: A meeting is scheduled for early Sept.!)

-Chief Williams, will you commit to pulling together a meeting with the Common Ground, the county, and local hospitals, and invite our state Assemblyman Tim Grayson, to start working on a mobile crisis unit THIS MONTH? He answered, Yes! 

-Mr. Nyhoff, as the city manager, you make a lot of decisions about how the city’s money gets spent. Do you commit to working with Common Ground to determine spending priorities for the tax revenue if the tax passes – and do you commit to bringing developers to the table to negotiate with the community BEFORE their projects are approved? He answered, Yes!

This could all be lip service, but that is where we come in! Common Ground is not a flash in the pan – we are here for the long haul. We know this work takes stamina. That’s why we built this organization. The City Manager, and the Police Chief, have committed to working with us. We WILL hold them accountable, but we need to be accountable too! Now it’s up to us – WE WANT TO HAVE 10 LISTENING SESSIONS with police officers between now and October 5th. We have already invited our current city council, and all the candidates for mayor and city council, to our BIG ACTION ON OCTOBER 5th where they'll listen to what we’ve heard, and commit to working with us.

“The time is always right to do the right thing.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


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