At the Alameda County Board of Supervisors Meeting on February 27, members of the public wait to speak.

After more than five hours of public comment and heated debate, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to approve nearly all of an ad hoc committee’s recommendations to demilitarize the county’s controversial Urban Shield annual training program. They voted 4-0 to eliminate SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) deployment exercises and the event’s…

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Sandra Johnson, an Oakland resident, needs a job to sustain herself, but faces obstacles with a conviction on her record.

Sandra Johnson needs a job, desperately. The formerly incarcerated 59-year-old Oakland woman is now a City College of San Francisco student, but needs to find work as well.

In June, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of establishing a new re-entry hiring program that aims to create 1,400 county job opportunities for the formerly incarcerated.

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A variety of programs that the state once funded—focusing on, among other things, criminal justice, mental health and social services—will now be the responsibility of local jurisdictions, usually the county, because of state budget cuts. Just how these cuts will play out in Alameda County, and what to do about the “financial tsunami that is coming our way,” as County Supervisor Keith Carson called it, was the topic of a budget forum hosted by the county supervisors on Tuesday morning in downtown Oakland.

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