The Issues - A Recap
Reclaim Rampart is working to give a voice to a blighted neighborhood long terrorized by gangs and the notorious Rampart C.R.A.S.H unit. We started our movement with an occupation and clean up of the abandoned station. We now feel it is time for another public action.
Reclaim Rampart is a group of citizens who live near the old Rampart Police Station. Our goal is to participate in the city planning for the use of this building. The city secretly promised this building to the Metro Division as a headquarters. Metro is a city wide rapid response unit comprised of S.W.A.T., Mounted and K-9. Our goal is community participation in the process of deciding if we want S.W.A.T. in our neighborhood and also to be included in the planning and use of this building that the police abandoned for 5 years, allowing it to fall into decline, while collecting interest on money designated to renovate the building (some claim this is illegal, but certainly this is not part of the spirit of the proposition which mandated 7 years to complete all projects).
Many in the community want a new form of police station; one that helps the citizens of the community, works in gang intervention, and offers social services. This is at the polar opposite of The Metro Division vision. So far there has been no public input into this process, and the community has been frozen out of the process).
So this is a complex issue with two main issues. The first is that the money to renovate this building comes from a public bond - Prop Q from 2002, a bond mandated to end in 2008. It was secretly extended and one project, Rampart S.W.A.T., was added that was not listed in the voter information guide and voted on as art of Prop Q. Metro Rampart has had NO public vetting at all. All the other projects of Prop Q had public meetings and the public was given access to, and urged to participate in, the design process all the way through construction except Rampart S.W.A.T.
Then there is the issue of Metro S.W.A.T having its own headquarters at all. In a 2008 Internal investigation of Metro, the BOI (Board of Inquiry) warned against Metro becoming "insular" because, just like Ramparts notorious C.R.A.S.H. division, special tactics divisions are prone to creating a dangerously macho culture which views itself as above the law. In fact, there are many internal reports warning of this danger and site Metro specifically. Should they really even have their own headquarters? How did Metro get on to the list for its own headquarters when there is not a single discussion in any of the Prop Q minutes concerning the choosing of extra projects to use up "excess" prop Q money? (100 million dollars extra they claim came from being efficient but really came from letting projects sit and collect interest for years instead of spending the money as the proposition mandated)
But it is not too late.
We demand that even poor communities can participate in how are neighborhoods are governed and how decisions are made.