On Friday June 29th, Genesis leaders and Genesis youth interns attended the "All Eyes on the Sheriff" mobilization by the Justice Reinvestment Coalition. The Alameda County Sheriff department budget recently increased to 404 million dollars without having given the public access to an audit of the budget although having been asked for repeatedly by the people. In the past ten years, the Alameda County jail population has decreased by half yet the budget has doubled. The majority of the Sheriff's budget is being used on detention and incarceration telling us that we are not investing in our communities.
Beginning in front of the Alameda County Administration building at ten in the morning, the Ella Baker Center orchestrated a die-in and protest demanding the audit of the Sheriff's budget. Eventually, we all entered the building to attend and speak towards the audit at the Alameda County Board of Supervisor's Budget Approval meeting. The meeting began with the Alameda County Administrator, Susan Muranishi, reading aloud of the entire budget with public forum opening shortly after. Genesis youth interns were able to speak towards the audit and demand the Board of Supervisors "invest in jobs, invest in restorative justice practices, invest in healing our communities, and invest in youth." President of the Board of Supervisors, Wilma Chan, then answers asking for the status of the audit. Administrator Susan Muranishi explains the status of the audit of Sheriff Ahern. It’s on the books with Supervisor Haggerty asking the matter be brought to Public Protection.
As an organization, Genesis stands to unite people from different races, economic backgrounds, denominations, geography, and abilities to fight for changes in our laws and public policies. One of our current issues is on Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline working to reduce youth incarceration while increasing County resources towards restorative justice-type programs. Genesis wants to invest in healing communities and wants to ensure the budget's alignment in doing so.