Everyone in Palo Alto felt the effects of the death by police of George Floyd as community members voiced their concerns of our own police department to the Palo Alto City Council. We have been listening to these concerns and asking how law enforcement can be administered fairly, with full accountability and transparency, while maintaining a high level of public safety.
Through my research and collaboration with community members and leaders, I believe that we need to restructure public safety so that crime rates and excessive force complaints go down, while also reducing public safety costs. In order to improve public safety, Palo Alto needs to consider routing certain 911 calls to social workers or EMT’s, using unarmed city employees for traffic stops, and increasing transparency and accountability on all public safety programs in Palo Alto.

We can work together to make positive change. Reform should include a reallocation of responsibilities from police to more appropriate staff. We need to look at other cities’ public safety models that have seen success in their progressive police reform systems, like Eugene, Oregon’s CAHOOTS model and Sunnyvale’s joint public safety department.

I’m also advocating for more open data on police actions and transparency in their training so we can use improved metrics to measure the police department’s efficiency. Programs like Stanford’s Open Policing Project, provides public information on police-stop data throughout the country to better analyze law enforcement’s intents and actions.

As a Council liaison for Palo Alto’s Human Relations Commission, I’ve been working diligently with the Commission and minority communities to address police reform and the need for more accountability in our city. Additionally, I’ve held personal office hours with residents and other community leaders about creating proactive solutions around these issues. Check out the videos of these meetings below.

I know we can work together to make a better and safer Palo Alto.