By Post Staff
East Oakland’s Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church bore witness to an impactful event as Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price met and prayed with more than 20 pastors and faith leaders who were participating in the 2023 Bay Cities Baptist Minister’s Union Citywide Revival.
This gathering at 5717 Foothill Blvd., a precursor to the annual revival, presented a distinctive platform for faith leaders to question Price on the current status of the community, her ongoing challenges, her role and responsibilities, and her steadfast dedication to justice reform.
Well-recognized in the faith community, Price seized the moment to dispel misconceptions surrounding her position. She forthrightly acknowledged the mistaken perception that she wields the authority of a mayor or police chief.
However, she sought to explain that while her role as District Attorney is paramount in ensuring an equitable dispensation of justice, it still has limits.
Rev. Joe Smith, president of Bay Cities Baptist Ministers, told the Post that Mayor Sheng Thao is scheduled to meet their group Thursday, Aug. 25 to also answer questions about crime and her role and responsibilities in solving the city’s problems.
Smith, his fellow ministers and their congregations will be looking for solutions to the problems of the unhoused, job seekers, and school absenteeism.
“We want to work with our mayor, our district attorney, our schoolteachers, and everyone that has contact with our members and their families,” Smith said. “We want progress. We want affordable housing, and we want justice and jobs. We must also do our part to keep our youth in school and train them up in the ways that they should go so they won’t get in trouble.”
Against the backdrop of her personal journey — from the foster care system to her present status in the legal field — Price brought up the transformative influence of grace and education. She candidly revealed that her trajectory owes much to both divine grace and educational opportunities.
She presented data drawn from a UCLA article that revealed jarring racial disparities woven into the fabric of the criminal justice system. In Alameda County, a staggering 70.7% of those sentenced to Life Without Parole (LWOP) are Black.
This discrepancy is alarmingly disproportionate, given that the Black population constitutes merely 9.9% of the whole. Price pointed to Alameda County’s Special Directive, a blueprint for instituting equitable adjustments, that recognizes the severity and significance of this chasm.
In a candid conversation with the audience, Price emphasized that a compassionate prosecutorial approach does not entail a lapse in prosecution itself.
In her remarks, she aimed to rectify common misconceptions about the district attorney’s role, describing its essence in upholding fairness, abiding by the law, and guaranteeing an impartial platform for all.
She repeatedly told the audience that she would remain committed to reforming the system to bring about justice through fairness and equal treatment.
Price’s affinity for the church was evident as she spoke about her Christian values and the comfort she derives from the congregation. This sentiment was underscored by a private session during which pastors offered prayers and support for Price.
During the hot summer evening, the revival fervor in the church set the scene for joyful singing and clapping.
Preceding Price’s address, Laney College Rudy Besikof announced the extension of the “Spring is Free” initiative, offering free classes for an extended period. Price lauded this initiative, acknowledging its potential to guide young adults away from potential difficulties.
In conclusion, Price reiterated her resolve to realize justice for all. Sharing her personal narrative, she inspired the attendees to stand alongside her in pursuit of transformative change. She told the gathering at Good Hope Baptist Church that their prayers and community support would be indispensable in the county’s quest for justice.
Many in the audience were surprised to learn that Price had filed a response to a petition by outlining her accomplishments as D.A., which included:
- charging over 7,610 cases,
- expanding the victim-witness advocacy program
- enhancing police collaboration
- promoting diversity within investigative teams
- prioritizing mental health support
- addressing workplace well-being
- training staff on the Racial Justice Act
- securing budget approvals
- expanding specialized court programs
- establishing various community-focused commissions and bureaus.
Smith said his group would continue to seek solutions from the major departments chartered with responsibility to dispense justice such as the DA, the mayors of Alameda County, the Alameda County Sheriff, police chiefs, the Public Defender, the Probation Department and the Grand Jury.
“We want them all to find ways to work for solutions rather than point fingers at one another,” Smith said. “Everyone should accept responsibility for their part in the process, and that includes the churches too. We must stay alert, read, pray, register to vote, and hold all our officials accountable. And in the meantime, let Pamela Price do her job.”
The post DA Pamela Price Engages Community at Good Hope Baptist Church Gathering first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.