Media Coverage'S ARCHIVE

  • The struggle to fully apply Operation Ceasefire in East Oakland underscores the difficulty of combatting violent crime with a depleted police force. It is also a product of a city that holds starkly different opinions about whether crime is a personal choice or the result of poverty, racism and urban neglect. “When Ceasefire is actually working well and is actually being carried out on all cylinders, it has been shown to decrease shootings by about 60 percent,” said the Rev. Billy Dixon, co-chair of the program’s community working group. “It takes about a year’s worth of community walking and talking and call-ins, where the community and the police come together and we tell them that they have to stop shooting.”

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  • Alameda County’s chief probation officer is expressing uncertainty over the release of state prison inmates ordered by federal courts. Ladonna Harris told a community meeting in West Oakland she was concerned about how such release would be handled, along with what could be done to lower the percentage of African American parolees who reoffend and end up back in prison.

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  • OCO leader Rev. Marty Peters, pastor of Victory Baptist Church, was interviewed by KTVU after a homicide occurred on May 19. He emphasized the importance of OCO’s Friday night walks and urged Oakland to stop the violence.

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  • “It’s not just walking,” said Betsy King when asked about her participation in the Friday Night Walks in high-crime neighborhoods of Oakland. Since January, King, who lives in Piedmont, and several other members of the Montclair Presbyterian Church have joined the growing number of people from faith-based organizations and other groups who gather at 6:30 p.m. on Friday nights to walk for an hour or two in communities plagued by street violence, including areas around International Boulevard.

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  • When Ben McBride first started trying to understand Oakland’s violence he spent some time with kids who were deeply involved in it. This was around 2006, when Oakland had over 140 homicides. McBride wasn’t living in Oakland then. “I met one young guy and I asked him, because I was really curious, I said, ‘Would you really kill somebody?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, I would, I’d shoot ’em, if they disrespected me, yeah.’ And I realized these guys were so calm, so nonreactive. But outside of that conversation, the conversation about disrespect, it was something else entirely. They were enthusiastic kids, like any other kids. But they were hurting, and so one of the things we’re trying to do is restore their invisible humanity.”

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  • It was still light out when the thirty or so volunteers set out from the At Thy Word Ministries in East Oakland last Friday. Most wore white shirts or jackets, and a few of them had come decked out in white from head to foot – the unofficial uniform of the Project Ceasefire “night walker.” In a short briefing before departing, veterans of previous walks conveyed the do’s and don’ts to the newcomers.

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  • So much is at stake for Oakland schools, that students at Castlemont and Skyline High Schools asked three legislators representing Oakland, the county education superintendent and the Oakland acting superintendent-elect to commit to supporting the measure and work for its passage. Inviting them to a youth event at Castlemont High School on Wednesday, they received those commitments from assistants to Rep. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley and Oakland), Rep. Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and Alameda County Education Superintendent Sheila Jordan and personally from Dr. Gary Yee, superintendent-elect of Oakland. They all listened to the students.

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  • Rev. Billy Dixon was on Bay Area People this past weekend to talk about the Lifelines to Healing Campaign/Ceasefire night walks in Oakland.

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  • “Congress people don’t know the pain we carry every day for many years,” Mireya Chavirria told Rep. Barbara Lee during an immigration forum Tuesday at St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland, Calif., part of the Democrat’s 13th District. Chavirria, who came to the United States with her husband and young son 16 years ago, said she cannot risk visiting her dying mother in Mexico because of her undocumented immigration status. “Please share my story in Congress and be a voice for those of us here,” she pleaded in front of more than 300 people from Oakland Community Organizations, labor unions and social service agencies working for immigration reform to create a direct path to citizenship.

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  • OCO leader Dr. George Cummings was featured in this KTVU interview about Ceasefire’s impact on the violence in Oakland. According to the story, shootings have dropped by nearly 30% and homicides by 42%.

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