UPTE RESOLUTION ON POLICING – Submitted by UPTE Peace & Justice Committee
WHEREAS, the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Tony McDade, Andres Guardado and others at the hands of police have rocked the nation, resulting in a massive revolt against racism and racist police profiling and murders, and
WHEREAS, our union, members, our families, and our campus communities have been direct targets of systemic racism and organized class oppression at the hands of campus police and local police over decades, including violence during labor strikes, attacking picket lines, and other violence and intimidation inflicted on workers, and
WHEREAS, The CWA Executive Board has expressed their commitment “to moving beyond an endless string of reaction statements and demonstrating our continued commitment to justice for Black people through our organizing, representation, political, and movement building work,” and “to creating dedicated spaces for open dialogue on race for our members and leaders to determine outcomes and clear steps the union must take to fight racism in the union, within the industries we represent and the community at-large,” and
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that UPTE-CWA makes a clear and firm commitment to address the policing issues that affect us in our workplace, in our labor movement and in our communities, and to use our collective power and political action funds to push for legislation to limit or abolish qualified immunity and support candidates that support community restorative justice programs.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in furtherance of our commitment, the three parts below shall be directed to the appropriate bodies, those being the UC system, community colleges, CWA, and the governing bodies of our local communities.
(Part 1) CAMPUS POLICING
WHEREAS, UC has nearly doubled the amount it spends on policing over the past ten years to more than $135 million and permits surveillance of the UC community, while the rest of the public sector departments and services have been gutted over decades of austerity, even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and
WHEREAS, In an act of hypocrisy, UC permitted LAPD to use UCLA’s Jackie Robinson stadium to massively detain Black Lives Matter protesters in LA, in an action abhorrent to any institution of higher learning in our democracy, condemned by the community at large and expressed in a concerned faculty letter in response.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that UPTE-CWA demands UC make a public accounting of the money it currently spends on the policing, including budgeted and unbudgeted expenditures, with the intention of reallocating funds to restorative justice programs that address systemic racism within the UC system and alternative methods of conflict resolution.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, UPTE-CWA demands immediate policy implementation to prohibit campus police from carrying lethal weapons or utilizing choke holds, prohibit any use of police not in uniform on campuses, prohibit campus facilities being made available for non-campus law enforcement; and if campuses have a police department, prohibit non-campus law enforcement from acting on those campuses.
(Part 2) POLICE IN CWA
WHEREAS, AFA-CWA has passed a resolution recognizing that “law enforcement unions immediately enact policy to actively address racism in law enforcement and especially to hold officers accountable for violence against citizens, or be removed from the Labor movement.” CWA members of United Campus Workers Colorado, and the NewsGuild sector of CWA’s In These Times and the American Prospect units have urged likewise, and
WHEREAS, CWA continues to organize, including with low-wage workers and communities who are standing up for social justice, as we are a part of those communities. Our standing is tarnished by police units that do not represent our values, and it diminishes our credibility in the community, and
WHEREAS, CWA represents members employed as law enforcement officers and instructors who train cadets.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that CWA enforce its Mutual Respect Policy, and require that all members, as underscored in the CWA statement of the Executive Board uphold a commitment to anti-racism, “naming specific measures that they are taking in organizing, representation, political, and movement building work.” Locals that fail to affirm and uphold these principles, take steps to eradicate racism and violence from workplaces, and hold members and local structures accountable for systemic racism and violence by acknowledging it, exposing it and taking concrete steps to eradicate it, shall be expelled from CWA.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CWA hold Local bargaining units accountable to the mandate as stated by President Shelton to “oppose and reform any policies or practices that perpetuate racial injustice or limit the rights of those citizens who speak out against injustice.”
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CWA support community control and oversight of police and public safety agencies with disciplinary and firing power, and support policies that limit qualified immunity and create public access to police disciplinary records and body-cam footage of all police shootings.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all CWA locals, including law enforcement locals, must affirm and uphold these principles, take steps to eradicate racism and violence from workplaces, and hold members and local structures accountable for systemic racism and violence by acknowledging it, exposing it and taking concrete steps to eradicate it, or be expelled from CWA.
(Part 3) COMMUNITY POLICING
WHEREAS, police impunity has further traumatized communities who are betrayed by their elected officials and the judicial system when these same police perpetrators are put back on the streets after carrying out executions of our unarmed community and family members, and
WHEREAS, Washington D.C. Council passed a bill requiring the release of body-worn camera footage and the naming within 72 hours of any officer involved in a deadly shooting or serious use of force, and
WHEREAS, CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) in Eugene, Oregon and other efforts at nonviolent interventions have succeeded.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that California enact the original language introduced by CA Assembly Bill 392 explicitly requiring officers to exhaust all nonlethal alternatives before resorting to deadly force.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that local and county elected officials enact policies requiring officers to engage in positive acts of service to the communities they police and that promotion and salary in the police force be tied to required community service hours and community review board scores.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that local and county elected officials propose an amendment to their city’s charter establishing an independent and ethnically diverse commission to oversee the police department’s policies and procedures, modeled after Oakland’s 2017 Measure LL.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that local and county elected officials begin the process for replicating the CAHOOTS program in police departments and passing and expanding Washington D.C’s legislation.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that police departments implement residency requirements for the force to reside in the county that they serve, using relocation allowances if necessary.