Local Attorney Pamela Price spoke last weekend at a packed house meeting in Berkeley about her campaign to replace incumbent Nancy O’Malley to become the next district attorney of Alameda County. The event was held at the home of Berkeley City Councilmember Kate Harrison.
Price said that if she is elected, she will introduce criminal justice reforms in Alameda County, including some already being implemented in San Francisco by District Attorney George Gascón, such restorative justice programs and expunging past cannabis convictions.
A young person who vandalizes a bus, for example, should have an opportunity to clean buses rather than go to jail.
“My thing is put a kid to work,” she said.
About 15 progressive DAs have been elected around the country and many more progressive attorneys are running for the position,” she said. “We have to break the school-to-prison pipeline.
She said that while Black children make up only 12 percent of the county’s population, they account for 53 percent of all felony arrests.
In 2014, Alameda was one of nine counties in the state where the DA only charged Black or Latino youth as adults, Price said.
In addition, Price, who opposes the death penalty, said Alameda County ranks Number 4 for the number of death row inmates in the state and Number 9 in the number of death row inmates in the nation.
Price was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and survived years spent in the foster care and juvenile justice systems.
Joining the civil rights movement in 1968, she was arrested for the first time in a civil rights demonstration at age 13.
She graduated in 1978 from Yale College with a B.A. in Political Science. In 1982, she graduated from U.C. Berkeley School of Law with a J.D. and an M.A. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy
She became a member of the State Bar of California in 1983.
Price opened her law firm in 1991. Among her cases, she represented two young girls who were sexually assaulted in a lawsuit against Berkeley Unified School District.
She has also sued the California Department of Corrections (CDC) on behalf of victims of sexual harassment.
Incumbent Nancy O’Malley joined the county DA’s office as an attorney in 1984. She has been serving as DA after she was appointed by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in September 2009 and ran unopposed for the office in November 2010.
For information on Price’s campaign, go to www.priceforda.com
Information on O’Malley’s campaign is available at www.nancyomalleyforda.org/