tv [untitled] October 13, 2011 7:30pm-8:00pm PDT
restaurants. this is looking like a family reunion for me after the number of careers we have been together -- years we have been together. i want to step back. when i was first elected mayor seven years ago as a father of three young boys gang violence was something that i just had no understanding of. unfortunately, any time we had a dialogue about reducing or eliminating gang violence it was a hopeless discussion. it was explained away and all the explanations are why we could not reduce gang violence and couldn't get rid of it. it was cultural. it was ingrained. i would say the call to action started here four years ago. because we had leaders that said regardless of the history and regardless of past we are going to take a stand and eliminate gang violence. it is going to be something we see in our lifetime. the senseless killing and maiming and violence would stop.
the strategies and policies we have developed has made a difference in all of our communities. i say it has made a significant difference in this community of objection -- oxnard. we have seen a steady decline in homicide rate and this year we are in october and have not had a single gang related homicide. [applause] >> we are not a large city but it was not that long ago our homicide numbers were in the 20's and half were gang related. so i'm here to and i would like to introduce our county supervisor from ventura. we are one of those areas that enjoyed the relation between city and county and that is imperative to be successful. i'm here to say we thoroughly support the call. i say the call occurred a number of years ago and we are now seeing the benefit of that but we cannot do it land.
we have to continue to -- awe should receive preference in financing and grants of support as we go further and we are making a difference and i look forward to the weekend. thank you very much. [applause] >> you were one of the early ones that stood up 4 1/2 years ago and said look at the muscle in this recommend. we ha -- room. we have to focus on policy and the past two years we have state and federal. next santa rosa. >> thank you, jack. let me tell you, as a former law enforcement professional, 30 years with the police department i know that enforcement alone doesn't work in reducing gang violence in any community. i know that for a fact. i tried it. this is truly a reunion. for me the past going to a
conference to discuss gang issues it would be felt with law enforcement looking at new strategies how no do more enforcement. it is time we changed and it has started. we know enforcement won't work. policy changes start at the local level. that is what we have done it santa rosa. they include developing a tack force that includes major stakeholders in the city and in the county. it included passing a 4% sales tax to enhance public safety services and provide funding for services as well. the battle we have had in the streets were not working for us. and any community that is in conflict with its youth is no community at all. this is a wonderful place to be for all of us together to do what we can at the local level but we need partners at the state and federal levels. thank you. [applause]
>> there may be a couple of minutes for press questions but first i want the good folks to sign. >> i will use a blue pen to make it distinctive. >> thank you. >> thank you all. let's have a happened for these folks. >> mayor ol veras from santa rosa. >> i would like to answer the question by talking about one of the partners aware -- we're most
pleased to be associated with in our effort and that is the postgraduate school and this sunday we are going to launch our program that we've worked collabora collaboratively throughout the entire community. and the point about these networks is it takes a while to get there. i know when we all first started coming together mayor morris talked about and san bernardino talked about what they intended to do and now you hear quite naturally that is what they do. and that is important. you heard the mayor of santa rosa say i tried law enforcement, that doesn't cut it. so, these networks are critical because we are charged with creating new and enduring structures. one thing i routinely talk about is not that we don't know what to tdo, it is can away scale it up and sustain it.
the very quick lesson i want to share from my time with the naval postgraduate school is the way they framed the issue. when they first got involved in us everyone thought we were going to be running a black ops operation and nothing could have been further from the truth. on the other hand i'm absolutely delighted the best and brightest two miles away were in our community and wanted to share their expertise. when they looked at this issue through kind of a counterinsurgency lens, it helped us move forward. a weak win is when you begin to suppress the violence and strong win is when you begin to control the political landscape and complete win when you have
complete transformation. we can all look at that overseas and if i were a betting man i would put a little more money on iraq than afghanistan. what i will say as a california mayor when i first encountered strong wind i thought that is kind of overseas. but, tom, you are lucky. every city and county doesn't work well together. every community based organization, favorite based, business, they don't always work well together. so to punch through that and really create those networks is critical. the other thing is when performance actually want the same thing and operate out of good will we also have to punch through habitual turf. so, when you issued this call to action that says, look, the point of going forward basis are cities that are really together truly recognizing it is dynamic
and you move ahead and fall back, but that is no small thing to build a network and to get to the next level of a strong wind, that we have a chance as a community to move forward toward the ultimate objective of a complete win. which as the mayor said, all of us standing here really believe it is possible despite the odds and i will close with this. could you imagine the phaemayor governor saying we can't do that. i don't believe that for a moment. we can do this. and so i'm always -- so the network issue is the heart of the matter. you can't get a complete win unless you pass through the networks. >> thank you all for your observations.
this reminds me of something i shared with you before. in san jose i was talking to a community activist, and i said cora, you are getting a new mayor. what is going to happen to the task force? she looked at me and said jack, you don't understand. it is not the mayor's, it is ours. so, your comments, tom, about driving this into the community, all of you, it is structure and it is really important and it has to be accountable with plans. schools used to let do you this. they say have you done it. faith communities, have you done it. but is it really driven into the fabric as a way to do business. and i know the leadership of all of you mayors are providing to your communities because you can't just sign it and get it done. you are out there on the
hustings all the time. the city mayors are at the top and unfortunately the funding is somewhere else. so, i have to thank you for your leadership. you guys are terrific. [applause] >> are there any other burning questions before -- yes, if you could identify yourself. >> [inaudible]. >> you will probably answer this in the next couple of weeks. >> anybody want to respond to the question? >> so, she probably should ask this in the next round in a few weeks. a lot of us have applications
in. i know ours is based on truancy in schools. right now one thing we are getting is against automatic weapons off the streets that are leaking in from across the border and those kinds of in-kind services are not necessarily funding but for these gang task forces in oakland it helped fund the street outreach services when we've violence on the street. we use them not just for the gangs. a lot of our violence and shooting is in the black community but we are using with young people who are out on the street in general and it has been a critical part of our gang task force within the city and coalition and i know that the rest of our cities use them similar for intervention projects.
>> quickly, we lament the passing of earmarks. city mayors, i could sell my case for intervention and prevention to my congress persons and they responded. i have two operation centers in the heart of the most challenged areas of our city kept alive by a half million dollar earmark from congressman jerry lewis and that expires and they don't come back i end up the loser. largely, we did a sale and got a 50% thumbs up from our city to do that. most of that, most all of it has again to the police department. i was hoping to have a little more for prevention and intervention but the council said give it the p.d. so we have supported our programs largely by applications like those earmarks and other applications, cops grant and
other anti-gang activities. we have become grant specialists to maintain the resources we have and we have become this remarkable alliance of community nonprofits and other services that kept us alive. the feds have a limited role at this point and earmarks for us has been an important opportunity. not much else out there on this landscape. >> i echo the same things. but we have also been very fortunate. i want to emphasize the thing i said earlier. you build strong communities. you are going to really attack that gang prevention in a before way. we are recipients of a hud grant, community choice program ground to rebuild our alice griffith one of the hardest areas of our city and toughest of our public housing
developments. if you look at years ago, it was -- it was very high in the statistics in twain -- 2009 of all the shootings and gang recruitment. we are going to rebuild that housing with those neighbors on site and residents of alice griffin participating in the building of their housing. that is how you get strong communities. that is how even our chief says the other programs aren't worki working, your job will be 10 times harder. so building strong communities in my opinion will contribute a long way to prevention and we are fortune with leader pelosi and feinstein to get that grant in the right way. one reason they chose us is because of the integration we have working directly with the residents who have been victimized many years. they get to build their housing with us as a partnership.
>> just one final comment. the a.g. is on her way up. one thing we're trying to do on the federal level is to have the various federal agencies approve funds so you can get funds from hud at the same time there might be a justice dimension, an education dimension and h.h.s. dimension. common r.f.p., common outcomes so you are not fighting for individual grants all the time. again, thank you, mayors, thank all of you. you can stretch. she will be up here in a couple of minutes. >> it is my good fortune to introduce the a.g. of your state who will welcome us this morning. her credentials dazzle. most impressive is her life-long commitment to public safety, to stopping those whose crimes tear
communities apart, and with equal fervor offering to help those on the margins of our society who risk falling back into lives of crime. before she headed the city attorney's division on family and children. she doubled the conviction rate for gun felonies, convicted violent offenders, gang members. often honored recognized as woman of power by the urban league. thurgood marshall award from the national black prosecutors association. featured on oprah winfrey. and in "newsweek" as one of america's 20 most powerful wo n women. she's also an author, smart on crime, a career pro prosecut s prosecutors.
i met your attorney general only two minutes ago thus i don't know her that well. but one can tell a lot about a person by the staff who work for them. my experience with your staff has been terrific. they are deeply committed as u you, efficient, a delight to work with and they have a delicious sense of humor. they, like you, i believe, don't see this work as a job but a calling. i'm the lucky guy who gets to introduce your attorney general, welco welcome. [applause] >> thank you, jack. for your longstanding leadership on these issues and everything that we talk about when we talk about being smart on crime you are right this staff has been with me a long time in the d.a. office and that is the special assistant attorney general in carjack of what we do around
criminal justice and the most fabulous director of the california department of justice larry wallace. so, i want to recognize them and thank them. and i want to thank everyone here. i see a lot of friends in the room. i saw the chief here. a great leader of law enforcement. and his partner in all of it around law enforcement in the bay area, the great chief of the san francisco police department. i want to give them a shout out and thank them for all of their leadership. and i'm glad it -- to join you here. i feel like there are people i have known for years. i started in the alameda county d.a. office and i'm a career prosecutor and i have personally prosecuted every kind of crime you can imagine, talking about why justice demands and dictates there will be severe and serious
consequence when one human being kills another human being or when a woman is raped to are a child is molested. i have tkodone that work over 2 years and strongly believe in the importance of making sure that we keep communities safe. but when we talk about criminal justice policy, it is about discussing the issue beyond a specific criminal details. it is about talking about the crime problem. and in that way and from that perspecti perspective, when we talk as leaders of our communities, all united in our desires to have safe communities, we must be committed to focusing not only on the consequences that must take place after a crime is committed, but on what we can also do to prevent a crime from happening in the first place. that is what we talk about when we talk about being smart on
crime. basically i think about it in a way that says for too long we have accepted this false choice on criminal justice policy that says you are either soft on crime or you are tough on crime instead of asking are we smart on crime. in particular and i see you here, mayor. i thank you for your leadership. i want to talk about the issue from the perspective that i now see it as the attorney general of california. we are the most populous state in the union and what we know is on an annual basis california releases about 120,000 prisoners and within three years of their release 70% reoffend. there is a word for that. it is called recidivism. we have the highest rate in the country although not by far. so when we talk on what we need to do and think about what we need no do to create safe
communities one of the biggest issues that we as a state are facing is the issue of defenders who seven out of 10 will re-around. i would suggest as a career prosecutor and attorney general we need to shut that revolving door. the way we are going to be most successful in doing that is recognizing that we have predictable outcomes that we have the ability to khaeupchang away focus on the issue of reentering former offenders and doing everything we can to reduce the i think about this issue in the context of now what we are dealing with and particularly around our state budgets. some would say we are a state on the verge of bankruptcy. what we know is that the slice of that pie that is the criminal justice system, the slice of that budget that is the criminal justice system in
california is a very huge slice. it is extremely expensive. and in the interests, then, of our state budget being of equal interest for some of us as public safety, we need to get smarter. and part of the way we are going to do that, i believe, is to infuse metrics in our analysis of our effectiveness. looking at our system, beyond some good sense of satisfaction because we are doing things the way they have always been done, and instead infuse metrics into the analysis and do as the private sector tells us is good business and look at the return on -- on our investment, in that way i believe that what you are doing here with all of these leaders, mayors, community leaders, police chiefs and others, is coming together as a community with a
collective purpose and desire to be smarter in the way we are using diminishing public resources, and to do what we can to be more effective around the creation of public safety. when i think about specific examples, i'm just going to talk about a couple from my own experience. i know ed lee was here, the great mayor of the city and county of san francisco. one thing we created was an initiative called back on track, which we created when i was d.a. of san francisco. we chose to focus on the 18-24-year-old he is, first time, low-level, non-violent drug sales offenders. why that group. when i was in college, i was in that group, and we were all called college kid. but when you turn 18 and in the system, you are considered an
adult, period, without any with regard that that is the very phase of life where we have invested billions of dollars in colleges and universities, knowing that is a prime phase of life during which we mold and shape human beings to become a productive adult. we focused on that age population, and essentially it was a public-private partnership, and again with diminishing resources, public-private partnerships are the way to seeing our way for a more improved criminal justice system. it is going to be calling on leaders of business who consider themselves not only leaders in business, but leaders in the community. what we did is we brot together job skills development, parenting classes and a number of other resources. over the course of five years, we reduced the recidivism of that population from 54% to
39%. it is a model for innovation around the united states. i think we all know this. innovation in law enforcement is not an oxymoron. we can do it. there is another initiative that we started, again with the same purpose and focus, and it was a bit controversial. it was the issue of focusing on elementary school truancy. now why did i do that? we had a rash of homicides in san francisco a few years back. many of our cities are plagued with those statistics going up and down. it was an issue for all of us in leadership. so i asked a member of my staff to go and tell me who are our homicide victims who are under the age of 25 when they were killed. the data came back and included the fact that 94% were high school drop-outs. so then i went over to the
school district and asked the support -- superintendent what is going on? she said the of the number we had in san francisco public skyhooks, 54% has been designated as habitally and chronically truant, and 54% of those were elementary age students. we are talking about 6 or 7-year-olds who are missing, 50, 60, up to 80 days of an 180-day school year. who do we think those children will end up being? and so the direct connection between public education and public safety. and so we decided to take it on, and i decided to do something that was a bit controversial. one of the benefits of being the chief elected law enforcement officer of then the city and now the state is you have a big old badge. and there is an artistic
rendering of the badge on your stationary. i sent a letter out to every parent in the san francisco unified school district outlining the direct connection between elementary school truancy, high school drop-out rates, who will be a victim of crime and who will be a perpetrator. the letter went out to every parent in the school district. i got a call from a friend, and he said my got the letter. she freaked out. she called all the kids into the living room, held up the letter and said if you don't go to school, she is going to put you and me in jail. intended effect. [laughter] the minnesota was to do exactly what -- the point was to do exactly what was accomplished. the superintendent said you haven't been returning my calls. did you hear what the crazy d.a. said? this is a crime, and she is going to look after it.
return my calls. over the initiative, which the current d.a. is continuing with the partnership of ed lee, over the last four years consecutively, we have seen a substantial decrease of truancy for that population. in fact, over 30%. [applause] and some people, some people said well, you are trying to criminalize parents. the last thing we want is for parents to be locked up. i agree. but you know the beauty of this initiative? we drew this initiative and had interactions with hundreds and hundreds of parents where we did what we call the d.a. mediation. sometimes i would have some of my prosecutors come and sit in the mediations. when i first rolled it out, because this was not traditional for a d.a.'s office.
alameda county is doing it. i took volunteers because there really wasn't the budget for it. my first volunteers were my homicide and gang prosecutors. i would have them sit in mediation, and those dudes already look mean. the parents would say who is the mean-looking dude. that is someone the d.a. sent up because they are going to start prosecuting. by putting the infrared spotlight of our public safety and law enforcement on that issue, we were then able to find out exactly what was going on. we then learned, for example, of a woman who was by herself, raising her three children, holding down two jobs and homeless. true story. so by asking the question and bringing her in, we then put access and helped her ack