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    peacenik's Avatar

    Tell Your Supervisor "No More Study; Place Effective Oversight of IOLERO on the Ballot!"

    Sonoma County Supervisors Have Acted
    and We Have Responded
    and Need Your Help

    If you haven't signed our petition to greatly strengthen IOLERO
    (Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach),
    you can do so here:

    or more information on IOLERO, its history, our group and the ordinance, please visit

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    JUN 12, 2020

    Please contact your supervisor (or Susan Gorin as Board Chair) and let them know that you don't want an ad hoc committee or any more study of community oversight of the Sheriff's Office; enough is enough; you want the Evelyn Cheatham Effective IOLERO Ordinance!

    (contact information at the end of this message - Sonoma County residents only, please - you do not need to be registered to vote)

    Committee for an Effective IOLERO Statement
    on Board of Supervisors' Proposed Process
    to Consider Amendments
    to the IOLERO Ordinance

    Why We Remain Insistent That Our County Supervisors Place the Evelyn Cheatham Effective IOLERO Ordinance on the November Ballot or Enact It Themselves as Written

    We are pleased that the Board of Supervisors is finally responding to the numerous calls from the community to strengthen the IOLERO ordinance and provide effective oversight of our Sheriff’s Office. We are very concerned that the process being proposed will paper over the real needs for reform and is designed to avoid the real transformation that is needed around law enforcement accountability and out Sheriff’s Office.

    IOLERO was established in 2015 following an unprecedented public process held by a task force of 21 community members meeting weekly for more than a years, in response to the killing of 13-year-old Andy Lopez. Even then, the county government worked hard to limit the proposals that resulted from that process. IOLERO, as enacted in 2015 by the Board of Supervisors, was a compromise with the Sheriff that limited both its effectiveness and independence.

    After more than 3 years of experience with IOLERO, it is clear that the initial model of civilian oversight of our Sheriff is inadequate. It lacks real independence and is not equipped to be effective in meeting its missions. These deficiencies were clearly identified in the 2017-18 IOLERO Annual Report, which proposed strengthening the IOLERO ordinance.

    Consequently, IOLERO currently cannot effectively monitor uses of force, including deadly force, by Sheriff’s deputies in the jail and on patrol. It cannot effectively suggest needed changes to Sheriff’s policies, practices and training. And it cannot effectively provide the transparency around these matters that was envisioned.

    The Evelyn Cheatham Effective IOLERO Ordinance proposes revising the IOLERO ordinance so that IOLERO can realize the Principles of Effective Oversight that are considered necessary to the task by the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (“NACOLE”). That is why the NACOLE Board of Directors, and many county public officials, have endorsed these needed amendments to the IOLERO Ordinance. It also is endorsed by the ACLU, the North Bay Labor Council, the Sonoma County NAACP, and the Sonoma County Democratic Party, among others.

    The Committee for an Effective IOLERO collected thousands of voters signatures to put this measure on the November 2020 ballot before the COVID-19 pandemic halted signature gathering. Consequently, the committee shifted its efforts to convincing our Supervisors to put the measure on the ballot directly. They ignored these requests.

    In the last two weeks over 6,000 community members have signed an electronic petition urging our Board of Supervisors to put these amendments on the November ballot. At the same time, local protests have brought even greater attention to the need for independent, effective oversight of local law enforcement, and especially our Sheriff.

    In this context, our Supervisors have now announced they plan to study the Evelyn Cheatham ordinance and will work with the Sheriff to decide what changes should be made to strengthen the IOLERO Ordinance. The chosen advisors have a demonstrated history of not supporting effective, independent and transparent oversight of law enforcement.

    This is the same process that led in the past to a compromise that prevented IOLERO from being independent and effective. Our committee is very concerned that this process will have the same result and a unique opportunity to implement effective oversight will be lost. This is one reason we sought a ballot measure to enact these amendments. The process of direct democracy is threatened unless our community is given an opportunity to vote on the proposed amendments on the November ballot.

    The Committee for an Effective IOLERO therefore calls on our county supervisors to place the Evelyn Cheatham Ordinance on the November ballot for a vote of the people. Should the supervisor wish to make changes to this proposal and enact it legislatively, our committee demands that this happen only after robust imputs from the public, oversight experts, and only if those changes make improvements to the proposal consistent with the NACOLE Principles of Effective Oversight.

    District 1 - Susan Gorin (Board Chair) - [email protected]
    District 2 - David Rabbitt - [email protected]
    District 3 - Shirlee Zane - [email protected]
    District 4 - James Gore - [email protected]
    District 5 - Lynda Hopkins - [email protected]

    To find your district -

    Last edited by Barry; 06-15-2020 at 02:29 PM.
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