South Bay activists trek to Sacramento on crucial week for police reform bills

South Bay community groups joined social-justice activists from throughout California at the state Capitol on Monday to show support for a pair of police-reform bills passing through crucial hearings this week.

“We’re at a critical point, both bills have to get through appropriations by the end of the week,” said Alice Lynch, a leader in the faith-based People Acting in Community Together. “It’s critical for community to be there and show this amount of support, and the impact it’ll have on people’s lives.”

SJ POA President Distracting From Accountability Aims: Activists

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA – Activists Monday demanded an end to an ongoing "attack campaign" by the San Jose Police Officer's Association toward the independent police auditor, saying it has distracted from their years-long fight to ensure police accountability.

People Acting in Community Together, a multifaith organization, led the news conference Monday at San Jose City Hall with the Asian Law Alliance, The NAACP and other local organizations.

Activists critical of San Jose POA

Activists Monday demanded an end to an ongoing “attack campaign” by the San Jose Police Officer’s Association toward the independent police auditor, saying it has distracted from their years-long fight to ensure police accountability.

People Acting in Community Together, a multifaith organization, led the news conference Monday at San Jose City Hall with the Asian Law Alliance, The NAACP and other local organizations.

Amid auditor strife, PACT renews focus on increasing San Jose police oversight

SAN JOSE — Striking back against a growing chorus of criticism against the police auditor, one of the city’s largest community groups is calling for police to curb their scathing political rhetoric and reignite talks to expand civilian oversight in San Jose.

People Acting in Community Together, a faith based civil-rights coalition, held a news conference in front of City Hall on Monday to restate their support for Independent Police Auditor Aaron Zisser, who has been besieged by a string of controversies that prompted police and union leadership to cast doubt over his objectivity.

Opinion: Why San Jose police need to help expand IPA office

Frank Richardson and Rev. Jennifer Goto| San Jose Mercury News| Link to Article

San Jose residents — including diverse members of our community — need to be able to trust the police. Police transparency and accountability are essential for trust, safety and justice — for both community members and police.

For more than two years, PACT, a multi-faith, multi-racial grassroots organization, has worked with Mayor Sam Liccardo, the San Jose City Council, the police chief, San Jose Police Officers Association (SJPOA), multiple Independent Police Auditors (IPA), other community organizations and hundreds of community members to expand the role of the IPA’s office.


In Trump’s America, childhood crimes haunt Bay Area Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees

Tatiana Sanchez| San Jose Mercury News| Link to Article

Had Phuoc Thang been born in the United States, the 38-year-old electrician would be quietly raising his young family in their comfy Berryessa home, having turned his life around nearly two decades after serving time in San Quentin for drug possession.

Had he been born in Central America or Mexico, he’d likely already have been deported.

But because he was born in a refugee camp in Indonesia to Vietnamese parents who fled communism, things are much more complicated. Thang is part of a unique group of hundreds of Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees living in limbo after committing crimes long ago — some as teenagers — that cost them their green cards. 

For years they were allowed to stay in the U.S. anyway, in part because of the unsettled nature of the countries to which they would otherwise be returned. But now, under the Trump Administration’s aggressive immigration policies, they’ve become prime targets for deportation.

Bishop McGrath urges ‘courage to break silence and help refugees’

The Catholic diocese of San Jose held a prayer service for immigration reform and reunification of migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday night at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph.

Bishop Patrick McGrath presided over the service and began with, “pray for those who can’t come to public service such as this” to an almost-packed church.

The prayer service in Spanish and English presented three sets of testimonials. Diocese Director of Social Justice Ministries Paul Miner requested the assembly not to use videos and cameras, citing the sensitive nature of the testimonials.

San Jose officer union wants police auditor out over maligned report

Community groups rally to support Aaron Zisser amid ongoing controversy over questionable use of force claim

SAN JOSE — After spending the past month denouncing his fitness for the job, the San Jose police union is formally seeking to oust Independent Police Auditor Aaron Zisser over an annual report that made “misleading” claims about racial disparities in use of force.

Police chiefs from across Santa Clara County join community conversation on police reform

A partnership between police and the community is proving effective in San Jose. Their work spread on Thursday night, as police chiefs from across Santa Clara County joined the conversation on police reform.

"It is this dialogue that gives us our framework for our policy work we'll do in the coming weeks and months that follow," said Yeme Girma, People Acting in Community Together volunteer.

PACT Recognized for Voluntarism

PACT Recognized for Voluntarism

On April 17th 2018, The Junior League of San Jose held a Volunteer Recognition Luncheon themed  "Giving Back... Paying Forward" in which PACT was recognized with the Kaiser Permanente Thriving Volunteers Award for our work on Engaging "over 200 volunteer grassroots and faith leaders to collectively address issues that impact our community and to create solutions to pressing social problems including the housing crisis and mass deportation."