ACLU Calls on Mayor Cummings to Reject Attempts to Water Down Surveillance Accountability Ordinance

Mayor and Police Chief Expected to Speak on Surveillance and Police Practices at Tonight’s Virtual Town Hall

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Tonight, Santa Cruz Mayor Cummings and Police Chief Mills are hosting an online community meeting to discuss police policies in the wake of national protests over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others at the hands of the police.

Mayor Cummings has signaled that Chief Mills will speak about Santa Cruz’s efforts to prevent discriminatory policing, while the Mayor will speak about the Surveillance Accountability Ordinance, a proposed law that will protect people from invasive and racially biased surveillance technology. The ordinance, originally introduced by Mayor Cummings, and recommended by the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, would prevent the government from purchasing or deploying surveillance technology without public debate, clear use policies, and mechanisms of oversight and accountability. The law also prohibits government use of facial recognition, and in what would be a national first, bans government use of predictive policing technology.

The ACLU of Northern California, and a broad coalition of civil rights and racial justice groups, call on Mayor Cummings to move forward with this ordinance in all its strength.

"As Mayor Cummings and Police Chief Mills know, people are rising up to protest a system that has given police far too much power to surveil, incarcerate, and brutalize people of color, and particularly, black people,” said Raquel Ortega, Organizer at the ACLU of Northern California. “We hope to hear that the Mayor will heed these calls, and move forward with his visionary bill for comprehensive surveillance transparency with a total ban on predictive policing and facial recognition technology. Now is no time for half measures."

When: Wednesday, June 3, from 6-8:00 pm PT.

To participate: Zoom with Webinar ID 964 6211 9560. Join by phone at (669) 900-9128, (346) 248-7799, or (312) 626-6799. Send questions and comments to before the meeting.

This ordinance is supported by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, American Friends Service Committee, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, CAIR California, The Campaign for Sustainable Transportation, Santa Cruz, Center for Media Justice, Coalition for Police Accountability, Code Pink, Color of Change, Courage Campaign, Courage to Resist, Defending Dissent, Democratic Socialists of America, Santa Cruz Chapter, Diversity Center, Santa Cruz Count, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, End Solitary, Santa Cruz County Friends of Juristac, Santa Cruz support  group for the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, Greenlining Institute, Jewish Voice for Peace, Santa Cruz Chapter, Media Alliance, NAACP, Santa Cruz Chapter, National Lawyers Guild - Committee on Democratic Communications, Oakland Privacy, Off Now, Pajaro Valley Rapid Response, Resource Center for, NonViolence, Santa Cruz, Romero Institute, Santa Cruz Climate Action Network, Santa Cruz Community Coalition To Overcome Racism, Santa Cruz Muslim Solidarity Group, Santa Cruz Sustainable Living Center, Santa Cruz Tenant Power, Secure Justice, Showing Up For Racial Justice, Restore the 4th – Bay Area, Tenth Amendment Center, Temple Beth-El, TURN – The Utility Reform Network, University of California at Santa Cruz Graduate Student Association Council, Veterans for Peace – Santa Cruz chapter, East Bay chapter, YARR Santa Cruz, Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club


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