This web page serves as a resource about and for the Alameda County Ad Hoc Committee on UASI (Urban Areas Security Initiative) and emergency preparedness. It is managed by John Lindsay-Poland of American Friends Service Committee's Healing Justice Program, who is also a member of the Ad Hoc Committee, appointed by Supervisor Keith Carson.*
The committee was established by the Board of Supervisors in March 2018 in response to sustained community concerns about Urban Shield, which is funded in part by UASI grants from the Department of Homeland Security, and coordinated by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. The Board decided that 2018 would be the last year the county would approve Urban Shield, as currently constituted, and asked the Ad Hoc Committee to make recommendations to the Board on the UASI-funded emergency preparedness training and exercise in 2019 and beyond.
The Ad Hoc Committee met 9:00 - 11:30 a.m. on the following days:
Friday, Sept. 21, 1221 Oak St., Room 255, Oakland (agenda, audio, and materials here)
Thurs. October 4, 1221 Oak St., Room 255, Oakland (agenda, audio, and materials here)
Friday, October 19, at Fremont Public Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538 (agenda, audio, and materials here)
Monday, Nov. 5, Castro Valley Library, 3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley, CA 94546
Monday, Nov. 19, Berkeley City Council chambers, 2134 MLK Way, Berkeley (agenda, audio part 1, audio part 2)
Friday, Nov. 30, Alameda County Building, 1221 Oak St., Oakland (agenda)
Friday, Dec. 7, Alameda County Building, 1221 Oak St., Oakland (agenda)
Friday, Dec. 14, Alameda County Building, 1221 Oak St., Oakland (agenda, draft recommendations)
Thursday, Jan. 10, 1:00 - 8:00 pm, Alameda County Building, 1221 Oak St., Oakland, 5th floor (agenda)
Monday, Jan. 14, 3:00 - 8:00 pm, Alameda County Building, 1221 Oak St., Oakland, 5th floor
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 3:00 - 5:00 pm, Alameda County Building, 1221 Oak St., Oakland
The Ad Hoc Committee ended its initial mandate on January 31, 2019. Its mandate was extended, on February 26, 2019, until February 28, 2020.
Meeting with Sheriff Ahern: Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, 125 12th St., Oakland
You may write to any and all members of the Ad Hoc Committee:
Erin Armstrong, chair (appointed by Sup. Miley): Erin.Armstrong@acgov.org
John Lindsay-Poland (appointed by Sup. Carson): jlindsay-Poland@afsc.org
Ana-Marie Jones (appointed by Sup. Chan): MsAMJones@gmail.com
Lieutenant Matthew Snelson (appointed by Sup. Haggerty): MSnelson@fremont.gov
Cinthya Muñoz Ramos (appointed by Sup. Valle): firstname.lastname@example.org
Unofficial compilation of recommendations approved by Ad Hoc Commmittee
Revised summary report and recommendations, for review by UASI Ad Hoc Committee on January 10, 2019
Proposals to "end Urban Shield as currently constituted" submitted by John Lindsay-Poland on November 19, 2018
Blog post on second Ad Hoc Committee meeting: The embedded bureaucracy of Urban Shield
While Alameda County funds most of the staffing for the Urban Shield exercise through the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office salaries, the Sheriff’s Office also receives an Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) annual federal grant for $5.5 million, of which $1.7 million supports Urban Shield. On October 4, the Ad Hoc Committee on UASI heard a presentation by Bay Area UASI staff that made clear the bureaucratic obstacles to implementing the Board of Supervisors’ decision to end Urban Shield “as currently constituted” after 2018. Continue reading.
Blog post on first Ad Hoc Committee meeting
Urban Shield and Alameda County’s ‘Ad Hoc Committee’: What is at stake
Relevant materials, with hyperlinks to documents:
Alameda County Actions on Urban Shield
- Bay Area UASI March 14, 2019 reallocation of grant funds for training and exercise program
- Board of Supervisors meeting March 12 re-considering Ad Hoc Committee recommendations and agreement with Bay Area UASI for training and exercise funds (agenda; we will link video here)
- Bay Area UASI General Manager Craig Dziedzic memo alleging grant violations
- Sheriff Ahern memo opposing 23 Ad Hoc Committee recommendations
- Legal memo by Glenn Katon responding to Dziedzic and Ahern memos
- Board of Supervisors meeting February 26 considering Ad Hoc Committee recommendations (video)
- FY 2018 MOU between BAUASI and Alameda County for the training and exercise program
- Costs to Alameda County of Urban Shield in 2018
- Urban Shield salary incentive and overtime pay documents, 2018
- Recommendations considered by the 2017 AlCo Urban Shield Task Force, from its February 2018 report
- Alameda County Board of Supervisors minutes, March 27, 2018 (see Urban Shield decision on p. 15)
- Transcript of AlCo Board of Supervisors discussion of Urban Shield, March 27, 2018
- Alameda County Contracts Involving UASI Funds (letter to San Francisco City Attorney, October 22, 2018)
- Official establishment of Ad Hoc Committee on Urban Shield, September 2018
- Budget for 2017 Urban Shield (UASI funds only)
- Budget for 2018 Urban Shield (UASI funds only)
- AlCo Sheriff proposal to BAUASI for FY18 Regional Training & Exercise Program, approved by BAUASI approval authority in January 2018, for training and exercise in 2019.
- 2015 MOU between BAUASI and Alameda County for the training and exercise program
- BAUASI Project Proposal Guidance for FY2018. This guidance shows both the requirement that funded projects have a "nexus to terrorism," as well as the authority to fund other preparedness activities that have a "dual use quality." See highlighted text on pp. 3 and 8, and the Priority Capability Objectives in Section 12.
- BAUASI Regional Training and Exercise 2017 annual report
- Alameda County Emergency Operations Plan, Dec. 2012. P. 25 of this plan identifies and analyzes hazards in Alameda County according to their probability and effect, ranking earthquake, flood/storm, wildland fire, landslide/mudslide, civil disturbance, and liquefaction all as more serious disaster risks than "terrorism."
- Urban Shield 'Trust Fund' expenditures and income, 2015-2017. This document from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office details income and expenses for the Urban Shield 'Trust Fund' established in 2007.
Letters to UASI Ad Hoc Committee:
Urban Shield is closed to the public. So what does it look like?:
- Video of Urban Shield 2018
- Stop Urban Shield Report Card on Urban Shield in 2017
- Notes from the Last Urban Shield as We Know It, Tracy Rosenberg, The Medium, Oct. 22, 2018
Some press coverage of Urban Shield:
"Alameda County Board of Supervisors Votes for Demilitarized Emergency Training," The Daily Californian, March 14, 2019.
"Alameda County Supervisors approve Urban Shield reforms; sheriff says action will result in loss of $5.5m grant," East Bay Citizen, March 12, 2019
"Debate: Emergency preparedness in Alameda County after the end of militarized Urban Shield program," KPFA, March 11, 2019.
"Alameda County leaders reaffirm changes to Urban Shield," East Bay Times, March 13, 21019
"Ad hoc committee approves recommendations to revise controversial Urban Shield program," Daily Cal, Feb. 4, 2019
"Urban Shield's critics successfully push for new recommendations," KTVU, Jan. 31, 2019
"How FEMA Blew Up a Wildlife Refuge 35 Times," Medium, Jan. 27, 2019
"Last Urban Shield in current format is being held this weekend," San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 6, 2018
"Urban Shield Practice at Point Included Gunfire," Alameda Sun, Sept. 13, 2018
"Guns Versus Birds at the Point," East Bay Express, Oct. 31, 2018
* This web page is not an official page of the committee or of Supervisor Carson.