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    Letter in support of Measure P— the Evelyn Cheatham Effective IOLERO Ordinance

    Here is the letter that I have been sending out. I ask you take a quick read and see if you can join in our effort yourself and share this letter with those in your network.

    Please feel free to edit the letter if you can send it forward.

    The letter I sent to Patrisse Cullors, one the founders for Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an urgent request for her help to identify funds to support the campaign for Measure P.

    Patrisse and I have been working together for some time now and as a retired station commander from the Los Angeles Police Department and a national and local voice for leading change in policing we have made a good team. I credit the BLM with a courageous effort to bring more awareness to many of us who are privileged today.

    It is time for those of us who are senior to many who have been in the streets and frustrated with policing and the system to get this needed step of Oversight passed in our County.

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me or email me. And anything you can do would be appreciated as time is short.

    John
    661-803-6323
    Sebastopol

    Dear Patrisse,

    I am reaching out to ask for your endorsement and financial support to help pass Measure P — the Evelyn Cheatham Effective IOLERO Ordinance — on this November’s ballot in Sonoma County.

    Measure P could change how sheriffs’ offices and police departments operate across California, serving as a model for legislation in every general law county, as well as for suburban counties across the United States.

    Currently, there are only 12 jurisdictions with police reform measures on the ballot in the entire country, but those are in big cities. Sonoma County is the only suburban county in the U.S. proposing any significant reform.

    If passed, Measure P will:


    • Guarantee IOLERO (Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach) the budget and staff it needs to provide effective, independent oversight of the Sheriff’s Office
    • Mandate IOLERO’s access to the information it needs from the Sheriff’s Office to perform its oversight functions
    • Legally bind the Sheriff to cooperate with civilian oversight of his office
    • Remove political interference with decisions of the civilian Director of IOLERO
    • Authorize independent, civilian-led investigations of deaths of community members caused by Sheriff’s Deputies
    • Improve transparency of the actions of the Sheriff, his Deputies and staff
    • Elevate the role and importance of the Community Advisory Council
    To achieve these reforms, though, voters need to pass Measure P, and that means running a campaign so they know what it does. Currently our campaign budget is $260,000, with about $40,000 raised. We could see campaign costs growing to $500,000, if we face the anticipated opposition listed below.

    We’ve already started campaigning. We retained Dan Mullen and his firm, Indie Politics, which worked on the successful passage of the Sonoma County Regional Parks Measure M in 2018. We’ve already held zoom meetings with early supporters and donors, submitted our argument for and rebuttal to the county, drafted a baseline poll, designed signs, and met with activists engaged in this work for years.

    Voting begins in just four weeks and Election Day is just eight weeks away. It is crucial that we expand our base of support rapidly. We must hire more staff and pay for all the advertising to voters.

    For more than twenty years, community members have been working towards achieving effective community oversight of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. After the killing of Andy Lopez by a sheriff’s deputy, a partial victory was achieved with the County’s creation of the IOLERO.

    But IOLERO was created without all the tools to be effective - no subpoena power, no independent investigatory power, no requirement that the Sheriff’s Office cooperate and not enough money to do the job. Measure P provides the remedy.

    We believe now is the time for this measure to pass, with the Movement for Black Lives, #MeToo, and the deep, widespread yearning for systemic change.
    Our endorsements include leaders from all over our diverse county.

    Yet we face entrenched opposition to reform, from the Sheriff, Deputy Sheriffs Association and the Farm Bureau. We expect this to be a contested election.

    To help pass this urgently needed policing reform measure, we are building a broad coalition of indigenous, Latinx and black people, alongside white people. Together, we can ensure that policing and jailing is humane and responsive to all communities in Sonoma County. NOW WE NEED YOUR HELP.

    If you are moved to donate now you can click here to donate online. Please feel free to contact me for additional information. Thank you for your consideration.

    Sincerely,

    John Mutz, Campaign for Measure P
    West County
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