Considering the overwhelming number of recent instances of police brutality and misconduct across the country and here in San José, civic participation and activism has become more important than ever. In the face of a global pandemic, civic engagement may seem difficult due to the risks of COVID-19 infection but there are other ways to get engaged.
One way concerned citizens can continue to be active is through City Council Meetings. San José City Council will be holding its weekly meeting on Tuesday, June 2nd at 11am via Zoom. If you are able to join, this is an important opportunity to demand that residents of San José do not tolerate police brutality and misconduct.
Here are some helpful details for joining the meeting as well as a suggested script for addressing the Mayor and Council.
The Council meeting can be accessed via Zoom using the following link: https://zoom.us/j/915620534469 If you are participating through Zoom. you will need to use the “raise hand” function in order to speak at the appropriate time (more information below).
It is also possible to call in to speak before the Council. The number for that is: (888) 475-4499 ID: 915 6205 3469. When on the phone, clicking *9 will act as raising your hand and indication you would like to speak.
People may also submit written notes and comments to the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org (during the meeting) or email@example.com (before the meeting). When emailing, you must identify the Agenda item which you are addressing.
Here is the link to the meeting agenda which may come in handy when tracking the Council meeting.
Finally, the Council should indicate when the appropriate time to address them is. However, so you can be prepared, you should have the opportunity either during Public Comment or during Open Forum, in which people may speak on any item not listed on the meeting agenda.
Here, we have provided a brief comment you may use either directly or as a rough outline when addressing the Council. We encourage you to add your own experience and voice to the existing script.
“To the Honourable Mayor and City Council,
My name is [enter your name] and I am a resident/worker in the City of San José [add your district if you like – it may help your council member to pay particular attention to what you say]. I am here to address the aggressive response of the City and law enforcement officers to the recent protests surrounding ongoing racially targeted police brutality and excessive use of force which has resulted in deaths of countless Black people across the country, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. As a community member, I am disturbed and concerned about the response of the San José Police Department to protesters in San José. I have seen evidence [or experienced firsthand] that the San José Police Department fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters on Friday, May 29th as an inappropriate and militaristic response to protesters’ expression of free speech. Particularly, I am concerned with the grossly inappropriate actions and irreverence shown by Officer Jared Yuen. I ask you, as the Mayor and City Council Members, do your part as our representatives and denounce police brutality in all forms in order to prioritize the safety of your residents. Especially, I ask that you put pressure on Police Chief Eddie Garcia to fire Jared Yuen, whose actions have become infamous on national news. As a resident and community member in San José, these issues are of particular concern to me. Thank you for your time.”