Here are my policy priorities
Reallocation of some, but not all, funds away from police departments to social services and reduce their contact with the public to reduce the likelihood of police violence. I support the call for mental health professionals to be installed as part of every police department. Police officers do not have the years of training and skill to best handle situations involving emotionally distraught people. Having mental health professionals available to assist in domestic disputes or cases where an individual has a mental illness or mental disability can save lives. Funding should be distributed to address the root cause of crime within the community from multiple viewpoints, such as to create new skills, food programs, and/or coding programs that would provide education opportunities for the youth and lead to a better future.
I also believe we need to demilitarize the police: I am against the push by the military industrial complex to increase spending on defense.
Accountability and Review
I support the creation of independent civilian review boards and auditors for law enforcement agencies, which have the authority to make effective, long term changes. People need to be empowered to make the changes that will make their neighborhoods safe, and police need to be held accountable to their charges in order to ensure that all people have equal safety, dignity, and rights in the face of law enforcement.
Communities must have confidence in the system of accountability. Offenses must be met with just and reasonable consequences. Police officers who break the law must be held accountable to the fullest extent, without loopholes. When we train and entrust someone with weapons and power, they must be held to the highest standard. They must both protect and serve.
I support policies that require body cameras for every police officer. Body cams protect both officers and civilians, by providing concrete evidence during controversial events. These body cameras must be kept on throughout every encounter. But we don't just need to ensure the existence of body cams — we need to improve upon the existing technology to ensure that all videos captured are promptly uploaded to the cloud and maintained for a finite period of time. We must evaluate all forms of evidence available to ensure that justice is carried out whenever necessary.
Police officers with records of proven misconduct must be fired, not promoted or transferred to another department. Also, we must develop a publicly available database for tracking police misconduct. We cannot allow the records of officer misconduct to be hidden from public view. Each bullet fired from a cop's gun should be investigated. Each bullet shot should have a viable reason, and if a cop cannot properly justify using violent force, they should be held accountable. Guns are killing machines, and we should do a much better job treating them as such.
Training, Trust, and a Collaborative Culture
I call for higher standards for recruits, and regular mental health check-ups for all officers. I encourage increased anti-bias, de-escalation, and cultural awareness training. We have the obligation to make sure that those who are entrusted with great responsibility to protect and serve are worthy of that trust. I also support a residency requirement: every police officer should ideally live in the community where they are assigned to serve and protect. Providing opportunities for law enforcement to interact with neighbors should be part of the norm. Police officers who live in and know the community in which they work are less likely to be a danger to the residents of that community.
In the words of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “No one is free until we are all free.” We must stand together to assure the safety and rights for everyone.
As a person of color myself, I have long spoken for civil rights and stood up for disadvantaged communities of Silicon Valley. I launched the no-charge Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for youth across Silicon Valley, benefitting thousands of disadvantaged students. By teaming up with San Jose's Mayor Sam Liccardo, we were able to implement this pathway to empowerment and learning through STEM in many low-income areas of San Jose. I have also hosted the no-charge Lego Robotics Bootcamp for many years to teach robotic design and programming. As a member of the California Computer Science Strategic Implementation Panel, a California Department of Education initiative, we rolled out a K-12 Computer Science curriculum for every K-12 Public School student in California, to go-live in 2022. If we can begin to provide opportunities to all youth, regardless of their family's income level, we can begin to level the playing field in high intensity areas like Silicon Valley.