The Commission on Police Practices Campaign
After a 4-year campaign, Mid-City CAN's Youth Council with Women Occupy San Diego, Earl B. Gilliam, and San Diegans for Justice, helped establish the Commission on Police Practices at the end of 2022!
The national outcry and local efforts against police violence was a wake-up call for our City Council to act immediately to create systemic changes that uplift and protect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities and hold the police to high standards of accountability. In November 2020, 75% of San Diegans voted in favor to establish the Commission on Police Practices, it is now the responsibility of the Mayor and City Council to deliver results on the voters' decision.
On Monday, October 3, 2022, Mid-City CAN, members of Youth Council along with San Diegans for Justice and Women Occupy San Diego delivered public comment during the public hearing for the CPP at the City Administration Building. Agenda Item 165 (Determination of Collective Bargaining Matters Related to Proposed Implementation Ordinance for the Commission on Police Practices and Proposed Amended Interim Standard Operating Procedures) passed with 7 Yeas and 1 Nay (1 absent). The ordinance was at an impasse for seven months because of two issues:
- San Diego Police Officers Association pressed for the city to allow family members of law enforcement officers to join the commission. City Council denied this request.
- Mid-City CAN, our allies, and the community asked that individuals with a felony record should be appointed to the commission since they have served their sentence. Council members did not remove this prohibition.
On November 2022, San Diego voters overwhelmingly approved Measure B which dissolved the police review board and mandated the creation of the CPP. Measure B was authored by Andrea St. Julian, co-chair of San Diegans for Justice.
Schools Not Prison Mural
The Schools Not Prison mural was created in June 2019 during the Commission on Police Practices campaign. It took almost a year to find a business that would feature the mural. Und1sputed fitness training center in City Heights, loved Youth Council's vision and agreed to have the mural painted on their outside wall.
The City Heights Skatepark Campaign
Growing up in City Heights is difficult for youth because of its lack of parks and safe spaces for them to gather with friends. It's especially tough for skateboarders who have nowhere to skate and were often ticketed by police officers for skating on the sidewalk.
The genesis for the skatepark project began around 2011 when a Youth Council member was hit by a car while skateboarding. After that incident Youth Council members decided to start a campaign to bring a skatepark to City Heights. They talked to local politicians and decision makers and were not taken seriously - their youthfulness was used as an excuse to not listen to them. The youth however were not discouraged and they went to the community to build their supporters. Soon they rallied 300 to 400 community members. City planners were impressed by the youth as they educated themselves throughout the process.
They youth faced many challenges, including community members who opposed the skatepark because of the misconceptions about skateboarders - myths that they lacked focused and were troublemakers. Conversely, data showed that skateboarders were healthy and less obese, and that having a skatepark would be beneficial. Data collected by youth eventually convinced that naysayers that having a skatepark would benefit the community because City Heights families would be healthier.
The result of this campaign resulted in two skateparks being built with the first one opening in 2016 and a bigger one in 2018. Watch the amazing video by KCET to learn about the skatepark campaign.