Campaigns come and go. Endorsements come and go. Candidates come and go. But the truth remains constant – or at least it should when it comes to political discourse on the important issue of crime in Solano County.
Notably absent from the Daily Republic editorial published Sunday, April 27, 2014, is any discussion – whatsoever – concerning the Solano County Board of Supervisors’ responsibility for ensuring the safety of our residents. Other Bay Area counties have stepped up to partner strategically with cities to fight escalating crime. Why can’t Solano County do the same? In other Bay Area counties, crime is not only a county issue – county supervisors have taken the lead in establishing programming and marshaling county resources to get criminals off the streets and prevent crime before it happens.
Case in point, San Mateo County.
According to The Five-Year Progress Report on the East Palo Alto Crime Reduction Task Force, “[I]n 2004, crime and violence began to escalate in the [c]ity of East Palo Alto, causing a deep concern among community residents. In order to address this concern, San Mateo County Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson convened a meeting of city, county and community leaders to discuss the issue, and develop a set of action steps for reducing crime and violence in the [c]ity. As a result of that meeting, the East Palo Alto Crime Reduction Task Force was established” to fight crime.
The Solano County Board of Supervisors should take a page out of San Mateo County’s playbook – go and do likewise.
In addition, the editorial is stunningly devoid of the truth concerning my work in this community on the issue of crime, much of which has been reported in prior editions of the Daily Republic.
The truth of the matter is that since day one as an elected official, I have consistently attended community meetings to address crime and solutions in 3rd District venues; hosted monthly town hall meetings to address crime and homelessness; and met with faith-based organizations to develop programs to help our youth stay in school and off of the streets. I co-founded the Fairfield Neighborhood Organizing Workforce, which established movie nights and community gatherings at Parkway Gardens, and joined forces with the Fairfield-Suisun School District, the Oakland Raiders and community partners to deliver a student training/mentoring/life skills program at our local schools. Does this work sound like “inflaming fear,” “questionable campaign tactics” and “disingenuous” conduct?
Crime is not a political ploy or strategy for “making hay” in a campaign. We have experienced six homicides in the 3rd District this year (four shooting deaths and a suspected vehicular homicide in Fairfield, and one shooting death in Suisun City) – and it’s only May. A man was shot and killed in front of my family’s church the night before Easter Sunday. This is a matter of fact – not rhetoric – and I will not stop talking about this issue until we stop the violence in our community.
Pam Bertani is a member of the Fairfield City Council and a candidate for the 3rd District seat on the Solano County Board of Supervisors. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.