Turning lives around with Oakland's Measure Y street teams
Anti-violence efforts in Oakland were bolstered, last week, when voters passed Measure BB. It’s actually an amendment to an initiative voters passed in 2004 – Measure Y – which pays for community police officers as well as employment, counseling and training programs, so long as the city employed at least 739 police officers. When Oakland recently laid-off 80 officers to help fix a budget shortfall, it dropped the number of cops under the threshold.
Well, as of Tuesday night, consider that problem solved. Measure BB removes the jobs requirement. And that means Measure Y is still in effect.
As part of that anti-violence initiative, Oakland created “street outreach teams.” Those are groups of residents who go to Oakland's most dangerous street corners to convince people to get the services they need to leave the street life. Reporter Sandhya Dirks walked with one of those teams to see where Measure Y funds have gone so far and consider how effective they have been in combating violence. From the KALW News archive, here’s her report.
This story was part of the KALW News Fault Lines Project, our six-part series exploring solutions to violence in Oakland. It originally aired on September 17, 2009.