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Critics Launch Campaign To Recall Alameda County’s Progressive District Attorney

Written by Garrett LeahyPublished Jul. 13, 2023 • 11:47am
Pamela Price appears at a rally in Oakland on Sunday, April 23, 2023. | Source: Samantha Laurey for The Standard

Critics of Pamela Price formed a recall committee aimed at ousting the Alameda County District Attorney.

Organizers submitted an initial campaign finance form for Save Alameda for Everyone (SAFE): Recall DA Price, which lists Carl Chan as an assistant campaign treasurer. The other assistant treasurer is listed as Philip Dreyfuss.

Chan is the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and is a well-known public safety advocate.

The dynamic of attempting to recall a progressive district attorney in Alameda County mirrors the ousting of progressive top prosecutor Chesa Boudin one year earlier.

The budding recall effort comes only six months after Pamela Price, a civil rights attorney, became Alameda County’s first Black district attorney in November after a closely watched race in which she successfully campaigned against the status quo and on a reduction in incarceration.

Supporters of the DA have also made their voices known, holding a rally in April to emphasize their approval of the new DA and her mandate from voters to instill the reforms she campaigned on. They have alleged that media criticism has been excessively negative—even biased.

Since her election in November, Price has moved to overhaul how her office handles law enforcement, reopening investigations into officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths. It’s also brought high-profile cases to the fore, which has netted widespread frustration with the new DA.

Price’s election also spurred an unusual exchange of personnel. Price has hired at least eight San Francisco prosecutors who were booted as a result of the Boudin recall, as The Standard has reported. Conversely, Boudin’s tough-on-crime replacement Brooke Jenkins has hired a number of former Alameda County prosecutors.

Much of the criticism of Price has centered on a crime that occurred well before she took office. In November 2021, 2-year-old Jasper Wu was shot on an Oakland freeway, a killing that officials say was a byproduct of gang violence. Price’s predecessor, Nancy O’Malley, charged the suspects with murder and other gang-related enhancements. Price indicated in April that she may not pursue murder charges in the case, but in June she proceeded with the charges, including the gang enhancements.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at garrett@sfstandard.com


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