A proposal to alter the county’s recall rules could impact efforts to oust DA Pamela Price

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price. (Office of the Alameda County District Attorney via Bay City News)

Efforts to recall Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price took another turn during the county Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, as supporters and critics argued over a proposed amendment to bring a change to the way recall efforts are made to voters.

Proponents of the recall claimed the amendment would curtail their democratic rights while opponents claim it would ensure signers of the recall petition effort are residents of the county.

The amendment would add “California state law applicable to the recall of county officers shall govern the recall of County of Alameda elected officers,” to the charter.

“If you don’t live in Alameda County you shouldn’t be allowed to have a say in the electoral process in Alameda County. Alameda County should not be for sale. It’s as simple as that,” Price said in an email.

“We don’t need to do this recall. Protect the win,” Orlando Johnson, a Price supporter, said at the meeting, pointing out that she broke the barrier as the first African American woman to be the county’s district attorney.

“The violence in our community has been here a very long time. She’s the first elected DA in 68 years,” said Ellen Coffey, a Price supporter who noted that since 1920, most district attorneys have either been appointed by the Board of Supervisors or ran unopposed.

Not everyone was supportive of the amendment. Members of the organization SAFE, Safe Alameda For Everyone, criticized the amendment and said it undermines the process by putting state law over county law.

“I don’t think it’s fair to the DA, this is her livelihood. I don’t think it’s fair to the people, as drafted this takes away their right to recall,” said Supervisor David Haubert.

“It is up to the voters whether they agree with this or not,” said Supervisor Elisa Marquez, voting in support of the amendment.

The amendment passed with a vote of 3-2, despite some feeling that the parallel of an amendment on the ballot near the possible recall election could cause some confusion. The measure is slated to go to voters in March of next year, while those pushing for a recall say they will have the signatures needed around the same time.

The Board’s clerk, Anika Campbell-Belton, said she was unsure which will come to voters first as it hinges on the exact time signatures are submitted. The campaign to recall Price needs to gather 73,195 signatures for its proposal to be put on the ballot.

One thought on “A proposal to alter the county’s recall rules could impact efforts to oust DA Pamela Price

  1. I wonder for how many years the County Charter language on recalls was inconsistent with state law, but nothing was ever done about it till this DA matter comes up. This March Charter amendment in advance of the recall election may further confuse many voters.

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