Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld Proposes Policy Reforms, Tells Public How They Can Help

In a long Twitter thread, Sittenfeld outlined his agenda for reform and the ways the public can advocate for specific policies

click to enlarge Council member P.G. Sittenfeld - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
Council member P.G. Sittenfeld

In what Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld himself referred to as a long Twitter thread posted last night (it is), he announced a series of policies and ideas he plans to sponsor, saying (or tweeting), "We have made many changes in our Police Department, and have a Chief - Eliot Isaac - who has embraced key reforms. But we - like any community - would be foolish to think our City cannot do more to combat the inequities in our system."

As any human can intuit, passing meaningful legislation that works to try to repair decades of systemic racial and economic injustice is one of the first (of many) steps to creating a more equitable society.

These are the ideas and policies Sittenfeld listed (in his words), and the ways the public can advocate for them: 

  • Strengthening, and funding the next phase of our city’s Collaborative Agreement. NEXT STEP: Incorporate into the upcoming Budget Process and restart community conversations about the Collaborative Agreement. HELP FROM THE PUBLIC: Email [email protected], [email protected] & [email protected] stating your support.
  • Immediately reconvening the Manager’s Advisory Group, the body responsible for providing guidance on policing - to allow for increased community involvement and civilian oversight. NEXT STEP: Request City Manager announce a meeting date for this month (June).
  • Fully funding the Citizen Complaint Authority. NEXT STEP: Incorporate into the upcoming Budget Process ($170,000 needed). HELP FROM THE PUBLIC: Email [email protected], [email protected] stating your support & reach out via social media.
  • Passing an ordinance punishing ‘knowingly or recklessly’ reporting someone to the police on the sole basis of their race, gender or other bias. NEXT STEP: I am requesting analysis and drafting of an ordinance from our Law Department HELP FROM THE PUBLIC: Email [email protected], [email protected] stating your support & reach out via social media.
  • Expansion of our Bail Reform policy: I’m proud to have sponsored the City’s first-ever bail reform legislation & I believe we should expand it, ending the system of wealth-based detention. Furthermore, public pressure must be put on Hamilton County, which contains the Prosecutor’s office, to do the same, as that is where the majority of defendants are processed. NEXT STEP: City will move to expand its own policy. HELP FROM THE PUBLIC: Email, call, and & reach out via social media to Hamilton County Government & specifically the Prosecutor’s Office asking they adopt a Bail Reform policy that at minimum mirrors what the City has done.
  • Advocacy on next steps for divestment from the private prison industry. I am glad to have sponsored City Council’s divestment policy from private prisons. However, the Cincinnati Retirement System Board has not yet carried out our directive, and they must be pressured to do so.  NEXT STEP/HELP FROM THE PUBLIC: Email, call, and & reach out via social media to CRS Board Members letting them know that continued holdings of private prisons companies stock is immoral, unacceptable, & not needed for good $$ returns: cincinnati-oh.gov/retirement/crs.
  • Given current Constitutional prohibitions against residency requirements for Police Officers, finding creative ways to facilitate more officers living in the community that they police. NEXT STEP: Brainstorm with our Law Department, Police Department, & outside experts about possible solutions to achieve this goal.
  • Similarly, we need to find legally allowable mechanisms to help the composition of our Police Department better reflect the demographics of our City (currently, Cincinnati is ~ 44% black, with a Police Department that is ~29% black). NEXT STEP: Brainstorm with our Law Department, Police Department, & outside experts about possible solutions to achieve this goal
  • Legislation making it illegal for our Police Department to hire officers who were previously fired or who resigned while being investigated for serious misconduct and/or excessive force. NEXT STEP: I am requesting analysis and drafting of an ordinance from Law Department HELP FROM THE PUBLIC: Email [email protected], [email protected] stating your support & reach out via social media.
  • Legislation making it subject to a vote of the City Council for the Police Department to receive military weapons or equipment. NEXT STEP: I am requesting analysis and drafting of an ordinance from Law Department HELP FROM THE PUBLIC: Email [email protected], [email protected] stating your support & reach out via social media

Sittenfeld is also lining up a bid for the mayor's office in 2021. If he announces, he'll be going up against council member David Mann, who sent a letter to potential donors announcing his candidacy in late May. 

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