There’s been a lot of attention paid to the district attorney race in Alameda County this June. It’s great to see.
We are fortunate to have an excellent district attorney—Nancy O’Malley. She has my full support for re-election because of her long track record of working successfully in our community.
Nancy has been a strong supporter of the Men of Valor program, designed to employ our young men coming out of prison and jail. Because of her support for this program and others like it, we’ve been able to reduce the population at Santa Rita jail from 4,000 to 1,800.
Nancy has been there every step of the way supporting programs like Men of Valor that reduce recidivism. We need her to continue her work as the most reform-oriented district attorney in the state.
Perhaps even more importantly, Nancy has been strong advocate for our “OK” program—a program designed to keep our Black and Brown youth from going to juvenile hall. Through the “OK” initiative, we have reduced the number of boys in our juvenile halls from 370 youth a few years ago to just 65 today. This huge decrease in our juvenile hall population is directly connected to the powerful work Nancy O’Malley is doing as our district attorney.
We must end mass incarceration of our Black and Brown youth. That is the social imperative of our time. And we need a capable, experienced district attorney—one who understands criminal law, policy making and program funding—to help make this happen.
Changing our criminal justice system is critical, and change is in the air. Nancy O’Malley is driving these changes, and that’s why she has my vote, the vote of many in my congregation and the support of Senator Kamala Harris, Governor Jerry Brown and nearly every local leader in Alameda County.
Bishop Bob Jackson is the Senior Pastor at Acts Full Gospel C.O.G.I.C. in Oakland.