Be a part of the conversation
The City Council and staff are committed to finding solutions to address systemic racial injustice that pervade our society and community. We recognize that San Rafael is not immune to the social and economic challenges that disproportionally impact not only our black community, but all people of color.
Real movement towards addressing racial injustice and prejudice will require action from our City Council and conversations with our community. Change happens through our local, democratically elected representatives at all levels of government, public and transparent decision-making, and the participation of voices in our community.
Every police department has a huge role to play in racial justice. However, racial justice and systemic racism will not be solved solely with changes to police departments across the United States. Systemic (or Institutional) racism impacts nearly every facet of life and involves housing, criminal justice, health care, employment, education, and many other issues. The City is committed to these community conversations as we work together with other levels of government (County, State, Federal), schools, businesses, medical providers, non-profits, and others on these issues.
What Actions are We Taking?
The Mayor developed a task force to conduct this review:
- Alyssa Martinez, Community Member
- Bishlam Bullock, Community Member
- Carly Bainbridge, Community Member
- Cristine Alilovich, Assistant City Manager
- Damien Oyobio, Community Member
- Darin White, Fire Chief
- Dave Spiller, Chief of Police
- Ember A. Vosmek-Park, Community Member
- Iman Kayani, Management Analyst
- Kate Colin, Mayor
- Jim Schutz, City Manager
- Justin Read, Community Member
- Lorenzo Jones, Community Member (Facilitator)
- Lucia Martel-Dow, Community Member
- Renee Vargas, Community Member
- Rob Epstein, City Attorney
- Ruth Etcheverria, Community Member
The task force met twice virtually to discuss how key elements of the #8cantwait campaign can be incorporated into the current police policy manual. Subsequently, the Chief of Police incorporated many changes and on August 17, 2020, brought the proposed changes to City Council. The City Council unanimously accepted these changes.
One significant addition was that Police Chief Diana Bishop wrote her first Chief’s Preface. This preface is an introduction by the Chief of Police about her philosophy of policing and vision for the San Rafael Police Department. Chief Bishop’s preface highlighted the disproportionate use-of-force against people of color, the underlying inequities in policing, and the role of leaders to drive change.
Currently, we are examining at service delivery around public safety as we review the City's annual goals and objectives. What we do next needs to be shaped and informed by community input. We will be putting together a broader process for community participation.
Provide feedback and suggestions
We invite the community to be a part of the conversation to guarantee the public safety and economic opportunity of all San Rafael residents, regardless of color, and work to eliminate the barriers facing people of color in our community.
Please use the form at the bottom of this page to share your thoughts, feelings, and suggestions on how the City of San Rafael and the San Rafael Police Department should take action to face the challenge of injustice in our society.
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Other Resources and Social Equity Initiatives
- City of San Rafael Equity Audit
- Art and public expression
- Recommended books, websites, movies, and videos to support learning about race and doing anti-racist work
- Police Department Commitment to the Community (information about use of force)
- Police Department Policies & Information
- Citizen Police Academy
- Camp Chance
- Homelessness in San Rafael
- Homelessness during a Pandemic
- Information for Renters & Landlords