No VPD on waterfront
Locating the Vallejo Police Department headquarters on our waterfront is a microcosm of what cities across our nation and internationally are facing: The crisis of race and class.
The question before the
City of Vallejo is how will our city respond? With caring and compassion? Or with more guns, force and violence?
Vallejo, our nation, and the entire world are dealing with the COVID crisis and the economic fallout from it: The loss of jobs, income, health, and life itself. The latest disaster, the war on Ukraine, has, as always, resulted in more deep cuts in the basic services for low-income people — especially people of color. It has forced more of the poorest members of our community further into poverty.
I know this, you know this. The question before our city leaders is not, “do you hear us?” but “do you care?”
What does all of this have to do with the location of our police department? Many of you look forward to taking a vacation or having a weekend out of town. But for many low-income people, having a family outing means a family gathering on our waterfront. Nothing could be more disruptive, jarring, and abrasive to an already stressed-out and traumatized family enjoying their precious time together than having to look at the police headquarters on Mare Island Way, or hear police sirens blaring in their ears: “We don't care, we don't have to!”
Our city council gets to decide. Will they continue to turn their backs and return to their safe, middle-class lifestyles or will they listen to the people? It is not “us” vs. “them.” It is not a unipolar world anymore and Vallejo is not a unipolar city. It is all of us coming together as one community. It is all of us or none!
The role of government is to care for all the people, especially the people on the bottom. There will never be enough guns, attack dogs, jails or prisons to deal with the social problems of race and class. We can't lock it up, or fence it out or expect our police to solve the problem for us.
Will our council choose chaos or community? They must decide. The people have already spoken.
— Beverly Mcgain/Vallejo