Home Pittsburg Pittsburg: A Letter to Our Community Committing to Address the Systemic Inequities

Pittsburg: A Letter to Our Community Committing to Address the Systemic Inequities

by ECT


The Pittsburg City Council is saddened, horrified, and angry over the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer and the recurring disparities and injustices that afflict our society. We grieve for Mr. Floyd along with his family and friends, our community, and the multitude of people in this Country that have declared that enough is enough. We also grieve for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other African Americans who have unjustly been killed.

The racism that persists in America is appalling. Communities of color have for too long felt the pain, hurt, anger, and fear caused by the institutions that fail to listen, acknowledge them, or address the trauma and economic hardships brought on by centuries of inequality. The fact that African American men, women and children are being killed by those sworn to serve and protect them is deplorable. We must address both the obvious wrongdoings – those that are seen and heard, captured on video, and posted to social media – as well as the less-obvious but no less harmful implicit behaviors borne from years of oppression.

From peaceful protests to disruptive riots, the voice of the unheard is rising and bringing attention to the perpetual injustices taking place. As a nation, we must decide what our Country stands for and how to uphold and implement those values; that effort starts here, at the local level. We know you are demanding change, that you be heard, and that your City reflect the diverse and proud people that make it special.

The City of Pittsburg will not sit silently while these issues continue to plague our society. The Pittsburg City Council is committed to taking a leadership role in making the changes that are long overdue. We will work to restore and earn the confidence of our residents in their government and law enforcement.

The City Council supports our public safety personnel in the goal of keeping our City safe. Many of our law enforcement officers are current or former residents of Pittsburg and part of the very fabric of our community. For transparency, our officers are required to wear body worn cameras and record all public interactions. They work hard, and often face difficult and potentially dangerous situations. We strive to continue to work with the Police Department to increase the level of respect within our community.

The City has or will be taking the following steps immediately:

· On June 3, 2020, a special meeting of the City Council was held to discuss the events that had transpired to date, along with needed actions to fully address the ongoing issues facing our City, State, and nation. At this meeting, the City Council also directed staff to draft a letter to be sent to all Contra Costa County Mayors, calling for solidarity and commitment to addressing the injustices of racism in America.

· On June 8, 2020 and June 10, 2020, special meetings of the City Council will be held to review policing practices within the City of Pittsburg. At these meetings, the City Council will also be voting on a resolution condemning the actions of the officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s murder and requesting they be swiftly and appropriately charged and prosecuted.

· On June 20, 2020, the City Council will be holding a virtual town hall with the Chief of Police to discuss community needs and concerns.

As we move forward, we must recognize that racism continues to curse our society. We hope to begin conversations to address the institutional actions that contribute to this plague. We are committed to addressing systemic inequities created by governmental and law enforcement policies as well as the trauma and economic hardships caused by them. As we move forward, the dialogue between our residents, business owners, educators, and City officials will be critical. We do not pretend to have all the answers, but we will listen, and we will act.

Change is difficult, but it is in times like these that we can come together as residents of Pittsburg, of Contra Costa County, of California, and of the United States of America. We ask that all the people of Pittsburg join us in reflecting on how we can be better neighbors, better employers, better civil servants, and how we can work to remedy the ills that sicken our society.

Jelani Killings, Mayor
Merl Craft, Vice Mayor
Holland Barrett White, City Council Member
Shanelle Scales Preston, City Council Member
Juan Antonio Banales, City Council Member

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Sven Schenker Jun 13, 2020 - 8:12 am

Wow- Now Pittsburgh is buying the Fake Manufactured SYSTEMIC Liberal LIES!!

jovan Jun 14, 2020 - 5:43 pm

Would the members of the Pittsburg City Council be as bereft if a BLACK cop knelt on the neck of a BLACK “victim” who wound up dead?

Sven Schenker Jun 13, 2020 - 8:13 am


Robert C. Jun 13, 2020 - 10:34 am

Very noble rhetoric, but the primary purpose of the city council – ANY city council – is to provide for the effective management of city government, not to address societal issues that are beyond both it’s charter and it’s ability to address. We need to get realistic about the purpose and limitations of city government.

Chelsea Drake Jun 13, 2020 - 3:30 pm

So? The Pittsburg City Council is “horrified” that a life-long, habitual criminal was dispensed with? This guy spent most of his life in prison and committed some horrific crimes! Good riddance to him! He wasn’t “murdered” — he died in the hospital from a heart attack thanks to all the crap he had in his system.

Jeremy Jun 14, 2020 - 9:02 am

Actually no, his cause of death was mechanical asphyxiation. That’s why in the UFC or MMA circles, referees stop chokeholds after less than 5 seconds. The cop had his knee on his carotid artery/jugular vein for more than 8 minutes. Floyd is just circumstantial, he’s just what we got. So what if it was a black college grad with no criminal record? Would you be outraged at that point?

Aquarella Jun 14, 2020 - 3:10 pm

The first official autopsy showed he was not asphyxiated ….. then the next pathologist said he was ……… then then next one said he wasn’t. Then records showed he was brought to the hospital alive but died several hours later of a heart attack probably from all that coke and meth he had in him.

LaReina Jun 14, 2020 - 3:17 pm

A black college grad, who made it in spite of being harassed by his fellow blacks for trying to better herself of himself and not succumbing to peer pressure to just stay ignorant, most probably would not be found in the same situation. Many of us don’t even want anything to do with our less-educated brethren who lack ambition and motivation.

Sue Ellen Jun 13, 2020 - 9:25 pm

Oh? They “grieve?” Did you see the racial makeup of the Pittsburg City Council? If so, you would not be surprised at their statement. They probably don’t give a damn about George Floyd, but they think they have to say something.

More black men, women and children are being killed by other blacks but these members sure aren’t that “horrified” or concerned like they seem to be for this criminal! Pitty!

Vito Jun 14, 2020 - 3:27 pm

Good point! Don’t they have some guy named Killer or Killing for mayor? Goodness! I’d change my name quickly. There was a guy with me in the Army whose last name was HOGG … I wonder what would happen if the two would be standing next to each other at formation! That would be funny!

C S Jun 14, 2020 - 1:08 pm

EGO is the culprit – It’s this single most harmful Human condition that we need to address.
Most all of us know right from wrong. What we are “horrified” with, is the criminal activity.
Everyone globally needs to check in with themselves, regardless of skin color, religion, sexual orientation, height, weight etc.
We can only make this change if we work together not against each other.

Roxanne Fox Jun 14, 2020 - 3:21 pm

Let’s face it! The world is not fair! Life is not fair! There is injustice everywhere and there always has been. In spite of that, people do overcome it and make it in this world. They just forge ahead and overcome obstacles. It’s actually the obstacles which get people moving. Challenges are there to be conquered. So, don’t be crybabies and use “injustices” as excuses for failure.

Richard Wilson Jun 14, 2020 - 5:50 pm

No, Roxanne! It’s much easier to waste time blaming “whitey” or The Man for their failures. They can’t make t through school because “whitey” is the one writing the text books or the material is aimed toward people who value education. They want to drop out and then waltz over to the SalesForce building and tell them they want to be an instant CEO with all the perks or they will burn down the building.

parvin singh Jun 15, 2020 - 12:57 am

This city council is speaking out about things going on out there but what about all the killing in Pittsburg and all the killer that killed woman in Pittzburg and theft that is going on right here in front of there eyes and the police with no leadership and turn there eyes to all this crime and letting murder’s get away and the only thing it was the own mighty dollar but all this is now about power that is the truth and all murders will have there day.

Dawn Jun 17, 2020 - 2:20 am

Which killing are you referring to Mr. Singh?

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