News

Progressive Alameda County District Attorney to Face Recall Vote

Progressive Alameda County District Attorney to Face Recall Vote

Pamela Price attends an event at The Paley Center for Media in New York on June 1, 2022. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Sophie Li

Sophie Li

4/16/2024

Updated: 4/17/2024

0

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price, elected with 53 percent of the vote just a year and a half ago, will face a recall election.
The county registrar of voters announced April 15 that enough valid signatures had qualified. According to the registrar’s office, 74,757 of the 123,374 signatures have been deemed valid, exceeding the minimum requirement by over 1,500.
The county Board of Supervisors will discuss the recall and a special election date at their next meeting on April 30, the registrar’s office said.
Leaders of Save Alameda for Everyone (SAFE), a committee comprising former Alameda County prosecutors, crime victims, and residents who are behind the recall, celebrated the news in a statement released on X Monday.
“Today marks a historic moment for our community,” said Brenda Grisham, one of the main SAFE organizers. “The resounding support for this recall petition sends a clear message that the people of Alameda County demand accountability and ethical leadership from their elected officials.”
Carl Chan, another main organizer, added: “We are confident that this grassroots movement will pave the way for positive change.”
Just months after Price took office in November 2022, the organization launched its recall campaign “in the face of rising crime and a failure by DA Price to hold perpetrators accountable.”
Ms. Price has faced criticism for her progressive criminal justice reform approach. Formerly a civil rights attorney, she pledged during her campaign to reduce mass incarceration and adopt strict measures against police misconduct.
But her approach has been called too lenient, especially in high-profile cases like the November 2021 freeway shooting on Interstate 880 in which toddler Jasper Wu was killed.
Upon assuming office, Ms. Price’s office opted not to file additional special circumstances murder charges that could have resulted in more severe penalties like life without parole or the death penalty—though the latter is currently suspended in California following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2019 executive order.
“By not sending a strong message, we are almost saying it’s OK to commit crime because there are no serious consequences,” Mr. Chan, a prominent advocate in Oakland’s Chinatown, said on behalf of the Wu family during a news conference in June 2023.
Criticism intensified after a crime surge in Oakland over the past year.
According to the Oakland Police Department, violent crime rose 21 percent in 2023 from the previous year, with robberies increasing 40 percent overall and residential robberies surging 71 percent.
The city also experienced a notable increase in car thefts, with nearly 15,000 vehicles stolen—an uptick of 45 percent from 2022 and a 229 percent jump from 2019. About 14,000 vehicle break-ins were reported during the same period.
The recall effort against Ms. Price is the second such attempt targeting a Bay Area district attorney in recent years, following San Francisco voters’ removal of progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin in 2022.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin looks on during a news conference in San Francisco on May 10, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin looks on during a news conference in San Francisco on May 10, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In contrast, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón has managed to withstand two recall attempts. Mr. Gascón recently advanced to a November runoff in his bid for a second term following the March primary election.
Ms. Price has not released an official statement regarding the certification of the signatures.
Under state law, county supervisors must schedule a special election date within 125 days of the registrar certifying the count, and this decision must be made within 14 days of the count’s certification. If the supervisors do not decide on a date, county election officials will have five days to select one.
The certification resulted from the registrar’s decision in March to undertake a manual review of the signatures, as the initial sample review did not confirm whether the collected signatures met the required threshold.
Travis Gillmore contributed to this report.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
Sophie Li

Sophie Li

Author

Sophie Li is a Southern California-based reporter covering local daily news, state policies, and breaking news for The Epoch Times. Besides writing, she is also passionate about reading, photography, and tennis.

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.