OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — The Oakland City Council unanimously adopted a resolution in support of California State Senate Assembly Bill 673, or the Ebony Alert Bill, which would establish a notification system, similar to an Amber Alert, to address the deficit in attention given to Black children and women that are missing in California.
Oakland Councilmember Treva Reid brought the resolution. She says there are currently 1,500 people reported missing in Oakland.
“We make up 24 percent of Oakland’s population. Yet, that disturbing number of 60 percent of missing persons. We should all be outraged,” said Reid. “400 of those missing persons are Black women.”
SB-673 would encourage, but not require, television, cable, satellite, and social media systems to cooperate with disseminating timely, accurate information to engage the public and the media on the information contained in an Ebony Alert.
Nola Brantley is the CEO of Nola Brantley Speaks, an organization that, among other things, trains professionals on issues primarily related to child sex trafficking. Brantley is concerned that pushing out Ebony Alerts will be optional.
“I myself am a survivor of child sex trafficking from the Bay Area,” said Brantley. “I think that’s a problem because once again, historically in this country, because of things like historical oppression and structural racism, we have undervalued and not protected Black women and girls. That should not be an option for people. It should be mandatory especially because they’re disproportionately coming up missing which is why the Ebony Alert is needed.”
California State Senator Steven Bradford, penned the Ebony Alert legislation and says the hope is the notification will be recognized like the current Amber Alert system.
“We kind of want to like implement our own program. Just like we have the Silver Alert for our missing seniors. We just passed last year the Feather Alert for the indigenous folks that come up missing. We just want our law enforcement and our media to dedicate the same level of attention but make it specifically directed to African Americans,” said Bradford.
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Senator Bradford says the bill is currently working its way through the legislative process in Sacramento with hopes of the Ebony Alert eventually making its way to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk later this year.