City Council

Justice Vanguard Dominates Defund Police Town Hall

Los Altos Townhall Defund the Police July 2020
Lalahpolitico captures the virtual Defund the Police Zoom Townhall audio and video
Written by lalahpolitico

The July 28 “listening” Los Altos City Council town hall was dominated by members, friends of, and supporters of Justice Vanguard. By the end of the 3 and 1/2 hour virtual meeting, the Justice Vanguard full ” defund the police demands” were clear.

A Lalah version of the Townhall video with WAY BETTER audio, WAY BETTER video and than the City versions on Granicus or Facebook is below.  Lalah has navigable time stamps too!

Read more at our website.

The July 28 “listening” Los Altos City Council town hall was unsurprisingly dominated by listening to members, friends of, and supporters of Justice Vanguard. By the end of the 3 and 1/2 hour virtual meeting, the Justice Vanguard full ” defund the police demands” were clear.

A Lalah version of the Townhall video with WAY BETTER audio, WAY BETTER video than the City versions on Granicus or Facebook is below.  Lalah has helpful, navigable time stamps too!

Justice Vanguard Demands include:

Implement AB953 sooner than later to collect Police stops data, not just citations and arrests data

Remove Los Altos Police School Resource Officers SROs from schools

Schools should cancel all contracts with Los Altos Police

End the DARE – drug use prevention program – at schools

Put the DARE Money into mental health services at schools and in the community

Create a Community Police Control Board (not a mere Review Board) – populated by people most affected by over-policing. This would be a  board with the power to receive police complaints,  investigate police, discipline and fire police. Also with power in the officer hiring process. It would also be at the table – with veto power(?) –  for negotiations with the Police Union, such as will be occurring the September.

Establish alternative non-police emergency response services for crises like – substance abuse overdose, mental health crises like psychotic behavior or threats of suicide, and domestic partner violence. The Eugene, Oregon group – Cahoots – is often suggested as a role model.

Andy Galea Los Altos Police Chief July 28 Virtual Townhall

Police Chief Andy Galea discuss the Arrests and Citation by race

Standoff about the Usefulness of the Los Altos Police Statistics

There was sparring by Townhall public speakers and online commenters about the meaning of the Police data on Citation and Arrests of Residents and Non Residents by race over the recent 3 year period.  Several Justice Vanguard supporters said it was sufficient to show systemic bias and racial profiling at the Los Altos police department. Several residents spoke or commented that it was not sufficient – in particular there was no socio-economic-status data collected, nor the type of violation or charge.

“All the calls for bold and drastic action are not helpful. The action needs to be in proportion to the urgency of the problem. And first, one would need to prove there is systemic racial profiling by the Los Altos police.  The data we have do not suggest that.” – an online comment 

Coming no later than 2022, there will be more and better police data – data on stops, not just on citations and arrest.  Also 16 new data fields.  The deadline is 2022 to implement the new state law, but the City is looking into how to do it faster.


In this LosAltosPolitico version of the video, Lalah has prepared a running summary of speakers and comments as read aloud by facilitator Judge LaDoris Cordell, complemented with time stamps. No persons or comments were cut! No editorial opinion was added.

This LalahPolitico version of the video is superior in 5 ways to the ones on the City’s Facebook and Granicus pages : Way better audio, way better video, the summary below has time stamps to speed your navigation, better identification of speakers, and cutting out of boring meeting delays here and there.

Rather than watching or sampling parts of the superior video here on this website,  you could also go the Youtube page, to the Description section under the video, where you will find selected timestamps that are clickable and take you immediately to that spot in the video.  Sadly Google only allows 5000 characters there on the Youtube page.

So given that Lalah cannot publish the complete timestamps directly on Youtube,  the full list  of time stamps is here on this website below.  You could print it out, and highlight comments you want to listen to for yourself and manually navigate the video timeline. View on Youtube.  [These time stamps match this LosAltosPolitico video version of the Townhall. The times will be “off” if you were to use them on the Granicus or FB version which left in all the boring meeting delays and snafus.]

There were around 160 attendees online at the highest point, and 45 unique public speakers making 49 comments.

City Attendees in the Zoom Meeting

Police Chief Andy Galea
City Manager Chris Jordan
City Attorney Jolie Houston (sporadically)
Mayor Jan Pepper
Vice Mayor Neysa Fligor
CM Anita Enander
CM Jeannie Bruins
CM Lynette Lee Eng
Contract Facilitator Judge LaDoris Cordell

Speaker identification is based on audio and also Zoom data and is potentially misspelled and conflicting.

Los Altos Police Chief presents Officer Complaint info

Police Chief Andy Galea presents the data on 3 years Police Activity. He started in Los Altos Dec. 2016


Time stamps, speaker identification, and making summaries was a best effort, not unflawed.  The document got more detailed and less summarized as time went on. Lalah expects there will be corrections and updates.  Contact

0:00 to 0:29

00:00:00 Channel intro

00:00:20 Mayor Pepper introduces Andy Galea police data presentation

00:17::45 Judge Cordell ground rules

00:20:50 S. Banergee – What are police complaint, discipline and hiring practices?

00:22:45 Chief Galea…there is a small pool of people who can complete a rigorous hiring process here 00:

26:45 Nancy Ellickson – Is the data good enough to conclude systemic racism and suggest policy change?

00:27:25 Chief Galea an issue with the data is comparing it to what? Demographics of LA, driving demographics of LA, demographics of the county, driving demographics…


0:30 to 0:59

30:00:00 LaDoris Cordell reads

Q:  West Linn – Jordan, did you remove that corrupt police chief?

Q:  Who knows the racial breakdown in Los Altos?   Ans:  Mayor says .04% Black

Comment:  Please No School Resource Officers (SRO) at high schools

00:33:00. Chief Galea explains there is only 1 SRO serving 16 schools. Not walking the halls, mainly presenting DARE (anti-drug use ) program.

00:34:35 Moira Huang – in support of Justice Vanguard (JV). Demand a police control commission with power to fire and hire police officers, a commission comprised of people most affected by over policing

00:36:50 Kelly and Marianne Hawks. We appreciate the police. Property protection is very important to us.

00:38: 30 Ishann Parmar  There is low crime in Los Altos because residents are extremely wealthy, not because police are snuffing out crimes.  Look at West Linn Tidings newspaper article. Chris Jordan failed.

00:41:28 Reply by Chris Jordan. I have a history of removing cops in West Linn. Several cops were decertified in all of Oregon. What you said is not true.

00:43:50 LaDoris Cordell  Can we draw any conclusions from this data? Can we get data on police stops, not just the citations and arrests?

00:44:55 LaDoris Cordell explains AB 953 that mandates police must now collect 16 more data fields for stops, citations and arrests.  Big cities to comply first. Los Altos as a small city must comply by 2022.

00:45:50 LaDoris Cordell reads questions. What is the lever of civilian oversight of police?  What is the police complaint process?

00:46:15 Chief Galea replies.  He describes the police complaint process in Los Altos

00:48:00 LaDoris Cordell describes the San Jose civilian oversight process

00:48:29 Moira Huang. Supports a oversight commission with the power to fire officers, to oversee hiring, with power, like in Oakland, SF, and Newark NJ. 

It should also have input into police union negotiations.

00:50:00 Yosh.  Justice Vanguard is my group.  Chief Galea where are you getting your info about SROs?  Who is liking these SROs.  Not the minorities.

00:51:00 Chief Galea. This is the positive feed back from DARE and visiting school administrators

00:52:04 Seth Donnelly, LAHS social science teacher. Agree with Yoshi/Kiyoshi about SROs, though not every one is bad. It’s a movement across the country.  Shame that blacks are 11% of the Los Altos arrests yet only 2% of the Peninsula [?]

00:53:54 Sue Russell – 40 year resident. Those police stats are appalling, especially for non-residents. How is race recorded into the data?  In Louisiana and Texas a race in on your driver’s license.  As for AB953, the sooner the better.

00:54:00 Chief Galea responds. Even with AB953 the police will report the ‘perceived’ race as they do now. 

00:55:52 LaDoris Cordell reads comments/questions. Three questions about statistics. Fourth question – How many citations raise revenue, which disproportionately affects the poor?

00:57:26. Geeta Deo – resident of East Palo Alto’s.  I support Justice Vanguard demands in regards to policing. Plus we would like LA to declare itself a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants. We (Hispanics?) do shop in Los Altos.

00:59:14 Roberta Phillips. Thanks the police.  They helped reduce San Antonio speeding making it safer for residents and especially the students.

1:00 to 1:29

01:01:25 Shobana Raghupaty – a person of color –

01:02:49 LaDoris Cordell comments and questions. 

C: Thanks police, wants to see more police patrolling

Q: What is the disciplinary action after a police complaint is “sustained?” 

 C: Ruth Darlene at Women SV – a domestic violence non-profits – thanks the Los Altos Police for their work

C Who decides the disposition of police complaints

Ans: Chief Galea gives a short response. The chain of command decides

01:04:11 Maiya Altair’s – here as part of Justice Vanguard, new grad of Stanford University. I speak on behalf of our demands. As a queer person, S. Asian, survivor of partner abuse. On behalf of immigrants. Police don’t make me feel safe 

Last month we were very opposed to the Task Force proposed by Mayor Pepper and Vice Mayor Fligor. Instead we want a Community Police Control Board. We have no confidence in the police union negotiations slated for September without our input. 

01:07:43 Renee Rashid – resident, parent of 2 LAH students. Eliminate SROs everywhere in Los Altos. Ques: How many citations occur at schools? Ques: what %  of applicants get hired? 

01:19:40 Chief Galea responds

01:21:23 Suzanne Guo – LA resident. I’m with Justine Vanguard.  A personal story. A mental health sufferer

01:07:43 Renee Rashid – resident, parent of 2 LAH students. Eliminate SROs everywhere in Los Altos. We need an alternative to the policing of mental health

01:mm:14 LaDoris Cordell Reads comments and questions

Q:How do the police evaluate if complaints are “substantiated.”  Ans: Chief Galea.

Q:Is Judge Cordel being paid to be a facilitator?  Ans: Cordell, Yes

Q:What commitments has the City and Council made so far. No answer. 

Q:What is the impact of a “sustained” police complaint?

01:16:07. Ans: Chief Galea

01:17:50 Yiran Liu – reiterate demand for a community police control board filled with those most harmed by police, with budget power, to hire & fire police, to veto negotiations with police.  Liu criticizes budget. 

01:20:20 Anthony Chan – longtime resident, MVH grad 2016, recent UC Berkeley grad.I am here tonite in support of Justice Vanguard. Comments on the LA police data: 10x the rate of white residents, etc. Chan opposes DARE program and says SROs are harmful

01:22:29 Sallim – statistics & hoodies. Personal story about wearing hoodies as a black. POV Asia/white on racial profiling. Statistics. False stops..2x to 26.5x more likely to be arrested.  With this data it is hard to say there is zero statistical contribution from police racial profiling.[Thus there is at least some racial profiling?]

01:25:47 LaDoris Cordell, more C & A

C: I hope RIPA (police data on stops) compliance is sooner

Q: Explain how police complaints are “sustained” or not?

Ans: Cordell explains Police Review Process. Defines numerous terms. Role of police internal affairs.

Q: Is firing shots on a moving car allowed in LA?  Ans: Chief Galea: We strongly discourage it, but have not banned it.

Q: Do you , the police, get comment from marginalized groups?   No answer.

Q: Has LA police done training in anti-racism? 

1:30 to 1:59

01:30:00 How quickly can you implement better police data collection?

Ans: Chief Galea – Looking at two options a) upgrade our CAD software – dispatch system. B) a 3rd party in addition to existing CAD.

01:31:34 Marisa Kingsley – here in support of Justice Vanguard. I live in a neighboring area but spend time in Los Altos. Scared here. Support the demand to remove SROs and instead hire student therapists at the high schools.

01:32:48 Jerome . How to feel safe?  Criticizes police training as for military or incarceration purposes. Instead we need 24×7 emergency social services for response to substance abuse and homelessness. 

01:36:08 Bill. This is part of the national push to defund the police, a coordinated anti-police effort. June 12 – New York Times “We mean literally abolish the police.”  AOCortez – “defund means defund.” LA Police is not the Minneapolis police. This is from the left side of the political spectrum. “Private citizens do not need firearms because the Los Altos police will protect them from crime. “

01:36:26 Cordell reads C & A

C: I support the LA police.  I’ve only needed them twice. I want people to want to become police.

Q:  What is the prevalent reason for an arrest? Ans: Chief Galea. Arrest often due to a call for service – like domestic violence or shoplifting. 

Q. Racial disparities Santa Clara County?  Ans: Chief Galea – we need more data, county police are partnering with academics

Q. When do you see racial bias?  No Ans.

01:43:14 Lukas/Lazarus Magellan.  What defund the police really means.  Model minorities vs. blacks. As a non-white I feel intimidated seeing police at schools.

01:45:09 Karina. Here in support of Justice Vanguard demands about LA police. Emotional. Data of Hispanic residents vs. Hispanic non-residents. Concern for undocumented people.  Concern lives lost and at risk.  Criticizes residents. 

01:47:30 Sophia – working with Justice Vanguard too -resident of LA, former LAHS student. Mental health in relation to policing. SROs are dangerous. Police intervention in mental health is a poor choice. When you dial 911 for an ambulance, the police should not show up.

LaDoris Cordell- Your three minutes are up

01:50:30 Sophia? We would like more time to speak.  Chief Galea got too much time, He should defund himself and his department. 

01:51:08 LaDoris Cordell C & A

Q: budget questions; What percent of calls for police are ‘actives.  What other paradigms can be added for emergency response with current funding?  No Ans

C: I completely disagree that cities who tried social service responses instead of police have had those responses work. 

Q: When are arrests publicized in the media?  Ans: Chief Galea – We don’t contact media. When they call us we just answer their questions. Often name, date, time…

Q: Is 935 data online?  Ans: Galea Yes likely.  LA police response to homeless and mental health done with others – nonprofits/county…

01:55:11 Sean McKay. MD Phd Stanford. Be careful using this data to draw any policy conclusions. What’s missing is the reasons for citations/arrests.  Yes, the analysis is correct at face value. Yet it says if you are an Asian resident you are half as likely to be arrested as a white resident. That Police are profiling whites seems an unbelievable conclusion. 

01:58:00 Janine ValadezBS EE Stanford 1981, Mexican American, long time Los Altos homeowner, lesbian. Personal Story. Stopped by LA police 8 to 10 times over the years. Owns a big Lexus SUV. Adopted a boy who is whiter than her. People think she was his nanny. Frightening incident for her and Asian wife interacting with LA police at nighttime school parking lot. Latest stop 18 months ago for no reason. 

2:00 to 2:29

02:02:43 Katie Chung. Look at the disproportionate arrest and citation rate.  What can be done? City Council, how do you  decide to refund [useless] police programs like DARE each year? Chief Galea – The current police complaint system has barriers for minorities who fear retaliation for a complaint. What other outreach do you do at schools besides talk to school administrators? City Council, What other issues besides policing will you be looking at, like affordable housing maybe? 

Ans: Mayor Pepper – Housing is a big council goal.

02:07:24 LaDoris Cordell C & A

Q: Another question to Chris Jordan about West Linn, Oregon – How come you hired retired police chiefs as police hiring investigators?  Ans: Jordan cites Oregon law.

Q: Is there a police oversight committee to file a complaint? Ans: Chief Galea – complaints come to the police department, occasionally to the District Attorney. Sometimes we hire an outsider for a complex complaint. 

C: So no one knows the population race demographics data? Ans: Cordell, mayor Pepper answered that before.

C: There are hundreds of instance of racial profiling

02:10:22 Cordell reads an unnamed comment that appears to be a Kenan Moos Statement

“Instances of racial profiling” 

“Listen to my words”

“Understand why we have these demands” 

02:11:35 Bennet Rosenberg – LAH alumni

We cannot do nothing. You must reconstruct a broken system.  Residents should no longer block change calling to “protect property and the small town feel.” The city should not “legislate poor people, immigrants and minorities away from us.”  “ Action is the next step.”

02:14:02. Lauren Renault – here to support Justice Vanguard.  She is a member of “Showing Up for Social Justice.” Police should not respond to a mental health emergencies. Remove SROs. DARE is ineffective – remove it from budget and shift funds.  Even if most people in Los Altos feel safe, Everyone should feel safe. 

02:15:21 John Corrigon.  The idea that there is something wrong with the Los Altos police is being put forth by a vocal minority of the population from out of the area. The police data speaks for itself. It will be good to have more police data.  I do not dispute people’ s individual lived experiences with police interactions.  But police are exactly what we need. Police are heroic people. 

02:17:29 LaDoris Cordell C & Q

Q: Do police do other outreach than at schools?  Ans: Chief Galea – Coffee with a cop; fundraising for charities; online presentations

C: Only 6 police complaints sustained!  For crying out loud?

Q:  How can you tell if a police officer is doing a good job? 

02:19:17 Ans: Chief Galea discusses what police job performance categories are…

02:19:45 Diane Glazer – 30 year resident – progressive Jewish organization. I need to say I have done a lot of diversity training.  We do have bias. City Council, are you willing to pay for this training?  Please don’t use Lexipol. As for the civilian police oversight commission, Justice Vanguard proposes a very strong model.  Perhaps there may be something lower key. Whatever, I’d like to get on it.

02:22:36 La Doris Cordell responds to Glazer.  The City Council could look to Jennifer Ebiheart, an African American social sociologist on the Stanford faculty.  She was a MacArthur genius  4 or 5 years ago.

02:23:20 William Zhou. LAH 2014 alum. I don’t work with Justice Vanguard, but I want to support their police proposals. Remote SROs. My old teacher Seth Donnelly gave a more accurate picture of SROs. Students are in “fear” they may be “punished as criminals.”  Just the presence of SROs escalates student and teacher prejudices.  What will be the future of SROs? Will they be removed? 

Ans:  We are hearing the input.

02:26:48 Chuck Alaimo – 25 year resident since 1996.  By choice, no children. I do support the Los Altos Police. My wife and I thank you very much. 

02:28:38 LaDoris Cordell C & A 

C: Social Economic Status (SES) status is missing from the data. Need to find the cause of crime. Solution is to provide a stable life for all. 

C: What will be the follow up to the listening session?  What’s next?

2:30 to 2:59

02:30:18 Mayor Jan Pepper: At the next council meeting June 25, we will get some ideas worked out for what next steps should be. I hope we will take action. 

02:31:10 La Doris Cordell – C: thanks to the police for help with burglar proofing my home and elder checking my neighbor. 

02:32: 10 La Doris Cordell C: …predominately for TV…?

02:32:39 Megan  a teacher at LAHS. I am only hearing from white and Asian residents.  They dont care. As a teacher I am a member of a racist institution

02:35:37 Sasha Narain. I am here in support of immigrant S. Asia women experiencing partner violence.  She details better case management.

02:36:45 Samuel Shi. LAHS grad. I want to rebut that these demands are just from a vocal minority. Personal story. In my experience with SROs, female studies of color got dress code violations coded far more often than whites.  This was sexualization of these students. A worry trend – will change occur Aug 25…

02:39:41 LaDoris Cordell C & A

Q: In the police data, there are only 120 Blacks. Did some blacks get classified as Other? 

C:  The police data and the census data… the data sets are so small. We need more funding and more training for police.  We respect the police.  Can we get our City to collect the stops data before 2022?

02:41:55 Toni Moos – mother of Justice Vanguard co-founder Kenan Moos. I can recommend the book White Fragility for our residents. Her husband was born and raised in Los Altos. Personal Story. She relates several police incidents experienced by her boys Kenan and Kai starting at age 12. As the head administrator of a college student health service, she sadly has to call the police if a student threatens suicide. The police take them to a hospital for a 72 hour psychiatric evaluation. This adds to the suffering of the student.  We don’t want to get rid of the police.  We just want to move some of the money. 

02:45:32 Sallin a 2nd time

This is a retort to the Stanford professor about data. There is no significant difference in resident Asian vs. resident Whites.  [t-tests]  arrests. Perhaps the Prof meant non-residents?

02:46:18 Maureen Griffen. Redwood City born, 30 year resident. Personal story.  My twin girls went to school with Toni Moos’ children. When will answers to tonight’s questions be available?  Are the 7 of you going to sequester and talk among yourselves? Are you coming back with a plan? I expect reform. I support Justice Vanguard. 

02:49:36 La Doris Cordell C&Q

Q: Why are 2 percent of our residents so against our police?

Q: Can our Council do implicit bias training? And mandate that for our school board too?

Q: Does Los Altos Police share license plate reader data with ICE? Ans: Galea, I don’t believe so.

Q: Why are police complaints taken by the LA police dept. rather than  a safer, bias-free place? Is there a plan to change the current process?

C: Please have more townhalls so the community can stay engaged and informed, so “all members can feel heard”, a continuous dialog….

Q:  Why did LaDoris Cordell fight against the Judge Persky recall? Ans: Please look online; there is plenty of info there. 

C: It is clear the council have no support from residents about these issues [ police reform, refunding] They can count on the support of residents privileged by the current bias system …and would not want to change anything. 

Q: What are the next steps for the city council, city manager, Chief Galea? What are your action items? What will You commit to for next steps. Ans: Cordell : The  Mayor already answered that question. 

02:51:57 Ans: Chris Jordan, City Manager.  I’ve got copious notes. I will be meeting with Chief Galea on some of the ideas for plans so we can move forward quickly.

02:52:21 LaDoris Cordell C& Q

C: I do not agree with Sean. There is a huge bias that all Asians are brilliant and successful.

02:53:02 Ashley Cai – I have lived here for 8 years. I speak in support of Justice Vanguard. I deny there has been increasing crime. More posts on does not mean a real decrease in safety.  Don’t prioritize than [unreal crime] over actual [real] racial discrimination. Richer whiter homeowners is the reason for the safety. Residents refuse to believe…Per the Town Crier, the police chief is willing to reimagine police work to include alternate emergency response units. We DEMAND reinvestment! A collection of cities could set up alternate units – like MV and LA share a SWAT team. What is the path forward?

02:56:56 Maiya Altaria [01:04:11] I am a leader in Justice Vanguard. I want to respond to the perception we are outsiders.  We are a majority Los Altans resident group. My friend Pita… comes here to see me all the time. Personal Story. I have lived my whole life in LA, am a LAHS grad, a Stanford grad, queer, and of color, an Asian American and have lived in the exact same house.  I know residents will try to paint me as an outsider. IT HURTS when people try to discredit my opinion in that way [as being an outsider?]  I want to dispel the “model minority myth” as it pertains to Asians. It is a tool of white supremacy and a roadblock to racism reform.  We won’t be stopped this time around. 

02:59:21 Janine Valadez – 2nd time speaking

Personal story as a Mexican American. I want to share the story of my brother, law enforcement personnel, in Santa Barbara. Multiple jobs, deputy Sherriff, patrolling, hiring, community engagement. Santa Barbara is what Los Altos might become 30 years from now…wealthy but with homelessness, drug addition. My brother’s current role is a running a Youth Police Academy – it brings brings girls, boys, community adults in, teaching what it means to be a good cop.  It has worked with 250 residents up to now, a lot of them people of color. It teaches de escalation and simple clear communication.  He hope it creates a pipeline of future police hires. 

3:00 to 3:30 END

03:03:19 Lillian Zhou – I live in Los Altos except when away at school.  I don’t work with Justice Vanguard, but I want to reiterate their demands . Make Los Altos a sanctuary city. Don’t let Police work with immigration. I found out only today that 3 students were ordered to deport from MVHS in January 2020.  Q: If you fund databases that ICE can access, will you defund those? Q: What are your plans for removing SROs. 

03:05:36 Ans: Chief Galea – I am open [to removing SROs] I will talk to the City Manager and Council about that.  Immigration-we don’t cooperate directly with them today. 

03:06:01 LaDoris Cordell C & Q

C: I am a PhD Stanford student in Data Science [Yes, There is actually Phd Political Science track with two data courses] The data are sufficient to demonstrate that the policing in Los Altos is racist. 

C: As an Asian American I want to address the model minority myth. I am less likely to have the police called on me than other POC.

Q: Do you have a way to proactively seek feedback from members of the community?

Q: Why do these things are non-residents?  Black and Latinx people do not feel the power to make formal police complaints. White Dude, please listen to Black, Latinx, POC…

Q: Per the Mercury News, there are criminal cops still in California.  Who, Where, and Why are they still working? Chief Galea, how do you avoid hiring these cops? 

03:07:55 Ans: Chief Galea: I have not seen the Mercury article.  I would never hire anyone fired from another agency. 

03:08:22 La Doris Cordell C & Q

C: Consider forming a Police Complaint Board

C Ignore the resident data that show police disproportionately target Black and Latinx.

03:08:40 C: [Kenan Moos?]

The majority of people are supporting police defunding, removing the SRO from campuses, funding reallocation…and support the demands of Justice Vanguard.  Don’t get it twisted! There is an overwhelming amount of Los Altans fighting against police terror as well as neighbors of our residents who every right to speak in this City Hall. I would highly suggest that the members who spoke against these sentiments remove themselves from their ivory towers and actually listen to Black and brown people. Protect Blacks and undocumented residents. 

03:09:33 Urna Bajacharya – LA resident, grad LAHS, student UCLA. Member of Justice Vanguard. Create a Community Power Board of queer and POC.  It is a way to listen to the community.  Turn the attention to the ones who don’t feel safe. 

03:10:14 Ishaan Parmar. [sarcasm] We need the police to prevent the dystopian nightmare when crime is running free in Los Altos. Let me explain. An area is low in crime because 1) employment is high so no need for residents to turn to crime and 2) an area is wealthy like Los Altos and has high home ownership. My question: Is Chief Galea ok with citizens being party to the police union negotiations?

03:11:38 Ans: Chief Galea: I am not aware of that model every being done.  I am not the right person to ask. 

Ishann Parmar. Justice Vanguard did a new survey and filmed testimonials which show show that police don’t make POC students and teachers feel safe. Instead there should be mental health professionals on site. How will Council respond to the suppressed voices in the community?

03:13:28 Samuel Shi

I worry it will be several months or more before change.  He read from James Baldwin. Then some words about statistics.  “In a months time, I hope to see more talk of change and less talk of talking about change.”

03:14:36 La Doris Cordell

I will soon be bringing this town hall to a close. Speakers are getting repetitive. Let me read some final comments.

C: More police help drug addition?

C: During my time at LAHS our SRO was Katie Krause. I have never heard of a negative thing while she served. She is now a captain of the police department. 

C: Chief Galea starter here Dec 2016. Change takes time

Two more comments…

03:16:20 La Doris Cordell

C: Do not defund the police; any department deficiencies in profiling can be dealt with by more training;   And yes more data collection. I disagree with denigrating the importance of the protection of property. 

Q: What happened to the beautiful BLM art in Lincoln Park? [ This refers to the ~20 4×8 foot panels left in the Park after a BLM culture booth in (?)mid-July]

Q: Are we moving forward with allowing the BLM mural [pavement lettering] in downtown Los Altos?

C: As a white woman of privledge, I support the demands of Justice Vanguard, specifically a Community Control Board and to rethink the role of police and change the current broken system. Act soon. Do not wait till 2023, otherwise they will be unsuccessful. 

03:18:18 Jill – 17 year resident here, a white woman. Personal story. My nanny and my son were pulled over. She was driving at 28mph in 25mph zone in an old car with out-of-state plates. A Hispanic landscaper with a big truck was doing a lot of work for several of us neighbors. He drove on a small street and was ticketed even though he said he had a permit for a big truck exception. He said he paid the $300 fine rather than spend time in court. I support what Justice Vanguard is asking for. I do not believe bias can be trained out of a person. The presence of the police at schools is just reinforcing racist behaviors in the school community. 

03:20:30 LaDoris Cordell. Could the City – Trevor or Jon – end the online comment feed now? Two more have come in.

C: All the calls for bold and drastic action are not helpful. The action needs to be in proportion to the urgency of the problem. And first one would need to prove there is systemic racial profiling by the Los Altos police.  The data we have do not suggest that. 

C: What is the Council Member position on a Community Control Board with the power for hiring and firing police officers? 

00:00:00 Ludka [LAH resident] I think the Hills people have some say in Los ALtos. I hope you think so. Personal story.  I am an educator, the wife of an African American man, and mom to a Black toddler boy. I represent the “Reimagining Community and Safety” group. I agree with the Justice Vanguard . Remove SROs. School should cancel all contracts with police. [the crossing guards?] End DARE. Put money into mental health. Support the Community Control Board, with the power to fire and to lead investigations into officers, and contributing to upcoming police negotiations. Also establish a program like Cahoots in Eugene Oregon. It would save up to 10-15% of the police budget [ LA does not have the level of homelessness and substance abuse of Eugene, so less of the budget.] Do not dismiss the experiences of marginalized people Let’s make ourselves a sanctuary city. [ Is this for LAH or LA? Both?]

03:24:30 LaDoris Cordell. Staff, please tell…how may attendees did we have tonight? Jon Maginot – Deputy City Manger – said the highest level of attendees at one time was around 160. There were 49 speakers, 4 of those repeat, so 45 unique speakers. Cordell continued to say people might look at her Commonwealth interview with moderate David Gergen (sp?). He is the author of “Eyewitness to Power”.  Judge Cordel urged the city council to 1) have passion that inspires others and 2) to take actions rooted in what is right and good. 

03:26:28 Mayor Pepper reminded all that the discussion of possible actions are expected at the next Council meeting August 25. 


Justice Vanguard

Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation

City Police Data

Our article about the aborted BLM civilian task force proposal of Mayor Jan Pepper and Vice Mayor Neysa Fligor







About the author


Norma Schroder is an economics & market researcher by trade and ardent independent journalist, photographer and videographer by avocation. Enthralled by the growth of the tech industry over the decades, she became fascinated with the business of local politics only in the past several years.