Here we go again with another district attorney recall campaign, as paid signature gatherers made their first big official push Sunday to collect the 73,000 signatures they need to force a recall election on Alameda County DA Pamela Price.
Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price has been in office barely ten months, and the effort to recall her started like clockwork exactly six month into her tenure. That’s when a group called Save Alameda for Everyone (SAFE) filed the initial recall paperwork, and it probably hasn't helped Price’s case that not only has crime spiked during her time in office, but critics have called her sentencing lenient, and there’s also the poor optics that she hired her romantic partner to a position in the DA’s office.
Now the Chronicle reports that the signature-gathering effort kicked off this weekend to get that recall measure on the ballot. The campaign technically started collecting signatures last week, but Sunday marked what that Chronicle calls “first major signature event” of their push, with tables at shopping centers and the kick-off of a door-knocking campaign.
Pamela Price recall petition signing event underway until 4 p.m. at 1711 International Blvd. in Oakland. Organizers say hundreds of people have come to sign today. They are working to share info for where people can find the petitions going forward. BKGD: https://t.co/OnpXM9gZZt pic.twitter.com/loZfAikPDw— The Berkeley Scanner (@BerkeleyScanner) October 15, 2023
According to the Berkeley Scanner, organizers need more than 73,000 signatures by March 5, 2024, so this is going to go on for a while. Social media reports have bubbled up that some signature-gatherers are being paid $25 an hour, though the Chronicle notes the campaign also says they have “about 1,900 volunteers.” (There are also social media reports saying that one signature-gatherer was “collecting signatures for (a) petition to legalize magic mushrooms. Be careful which one you sign.”)
The first contribution (publicly disclosed) to the recall Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price campaign committee "SAVE" is $10k from Peterson Properties, and Oakland-based real estate developer and landlord.https://t.co/Zoo4ZGQfgt pic.twitter.com/d7u8IRAdri— Darwin BondGraham (@DarwinBondGraha) October 6, 2023
Price was elected by a 53% margin last year on a progressive platform, and she is the first Black woman DA in Alameda County history. Her term lasts all the way until 2027, unless this recall changes that.
After signing the recall petition, Alameda County resident Evelyn Gibbe told KTVU, "I’ve been seeing and experiencing the crime wave in Oakland, and I do believe that it’s directly related to the D.A. and her policies on restorative justice."
🖊️ Recall DA Pamela Price petition drive has begun— Betty Yu (@bett_yu) October 16, 2023
The group Save Alameda For Everyone (SAFE) said they must submit ~ 74,000 verified signatures from registered Alameda County voters by March 2024 @KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/LOozNgFG2J
According to the SAFE website, if the recall were to make the ballot, voters would also choose a replacement DA candidate on the same ballot. So this recall campaign will likely beget other political campaigns by more candidates running for that office, just like with past campaigns to recall the California governor. It’s not yet clear whether the election would occur on its own special election day, or on the day of an already scheduled consolidated election day (for 2024, those days are March 5 and November 5).
Price already has a sort-of campaign website to fight back on this effort, ProtectTheWin.org. Her office did not comment on the record in any of the above reports. But an anonymous staffer told the Daily Californian in August that “Progressive DAs are easy targets for recall since most people’s natural response to crime is to lock them up, but it takes patience and empathy to see that is not the only response.”
Image: @AlamedaCountyDA via Twitter