How Effective Police Oversight Can Contribute To A Safer Vallejo

How Effective Police Oversight Can Contribute To A Safer Vallejo

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Join Vallejo City Councilmember, Hakeem Brown, and regional civilian oversight practitioners Gia Irlando and Russell Bloom for a panel discussion on Reimagining Public Safety. We will explore how independent and effective police oversight can contribute to a safer Vallejo. Prior to the panel discussion Councilmember Brown will be hosting his normal open town hall discussion from 1-2pm.

Goals for this interactive panel include:

Provide an understanding of independent civilian oversight models and effectiveness
Discuss the mechanics and operations of an effective oversight office
Increase awareness for Councilmember Brown’s 2020-2021 budget request for oversight over the Vallejo Police Department
Solicit public support for an effective police accountability model in Vallejo

About the Panelists:

Vallejo City Councilmember Hakeem Brown
A successful Vallejo small business owner, Councilmember Hakeem Brown attended local public schools: Pennycook Elementary, Federal Terrace, Vallejo Junior High, and Hogan High School. He learned his business and community service ethic from his mother — Mrs. Thelma Brown –also a 30+ year Vallejo business owner. Hakeem’s first jobs were delivering the Times Herald newspaper and supporting his mother’s family business. Councilmember Brown has acted swiftly to address problems the Vallejo community has been concerned about for years: crime and public safety, homelessness, quality schools, jobs, and the economy. Brown champions responsible, neighborhood-based policing, tough protections for tenants, and clean neighborhoods free from disease, vandalism, graffiti, and illegal dumping. As Mayor, he offers aggressive leadership and fresh ideas to help existing businesses stay open, bring new ones to Vallejo, and create jobs. On his evenings and weekends, Councilmember Brown can be found leading a Brown Town Hall or Brown Neighborhood Clean-Up.

Russell Bloom
Russell Bloom is the Independent Police Auditor at the BART Office of the Independent Police Auditor (OIPA). Mr. Bloom came to OIPA as an Investigator in 2014 after working as an in-house investigator at an Oakland, California civil litigation firm. Mr. Bloom has also served on the Berkeley, California Police Review Commission, including terms as vice-chair and chair. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and a JD from the New College of California School of Law. His law school experience included a judicial externship with US District Court Judge Thelton Henderson. He lives in Richmond, CA, and is the father of two adult sons.

Gia Irlando
Gia Irlando is the Principal at Irlando Consulting, LLC, currently working with several jurisdictions in Colorado and California to enhance their oversight infrastructure with greater stakeholder collaboration for improved outcomes in police accountability. Through 2019, Gia was the Community Relations Ombudsman with the Office of the Independent Monitor. She was responsible for stakeholder engagement and outreach. Hearing the community call for better relations between youth and law enforcement, she spearheaded the creation of the Youth Outreach Project, Bridging the Gap: Kids and Cops. She secured federal grant funding, oversaw the development of the curriculum and convened an expert advisory committee to guide the process. The project was recently evaluated and demonstrated notable effectiveness and a significant change in perceptions for youth and law enforcement to thwart the flow of youth into the juvenile justice system.

Gia is a 2014 fellow of the National Hispana Leadership Institute and a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. Gia serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement and is the Co-Chair of the Membership Support and Advocacy Committee and on the State Committee for Colorado Working Families Party. Gia attended the University of California, Berkeley and California State University, Hayward, focusing on politics, communications and ethnic studies.
Gia has worked for numerous national non-profits, labor organizations and for many years increasing political representation for people of color in elected office throughout the Southwest. Gia has had the great opportunity to work for state, municipal and community leaders and is an innovator in politics for candidates and issues important to low-income communities of color.

Facilitated by:
Richard Fisher
Richard Fisher is the Executive Director of the systems-change-focused non-profit 4th Second. He earned his BS at UC Berkeley in Civil and Environmental Engineering, followed by an MS in Sustainable Engineering at the University of Arkansas where his thesis explored the dynamics between societal values, economic development, and the environment in Vallejo, CA. In 2016, Richard became a StartingBloc Social Innovation Fellow and joined the globally renowned Biomimicry Professional (BPro) Certification program followed by a second MS in Biomimicry at Arizona State University. At the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, he was awarded the Young Professionals Award for his Adaptive Design Approach to address climate change impacts. Since 2015, Richard has focused on serving his community of Vallejo by co-developing programs to build capacity of change agents, leverage resources through cooperation, and increase access to opportunity. Some of the programs include Vallejo SOUP, a community microgranting platform to empower local change-makers, the Vallejo Youth Outreach Program, a trauma informed trust-building program for police and youth, Vallejo Mobile Health, a street outreach program providing health services to people who are unhoused, Resilient Neighborhoods Project, a pilot project to develop a model for ecologically and socially resilient neighborhoods, and the Catalyst Social Innovation Fellowship, a summer program for youth to engage in social change.


Date(s) - Sat, Jul 25, 2020
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm


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