The Oakland Power Projects follow a simple three-step process.
For the Oakland Power Projects, Critical Resistance (CR) conducts interviews and conversations with Oaklanders to identify harms of policing, as well as existing resources and opportunities to diminish people’s contact with policing. We ask the following questions:
- Do you live in Oakland?
- How long have you lived in Oakland?
- Where do you like to spend time? Why?
- Do you feel safe there? Why?
- Where do you feel most safe? When and why?
- Have you ever called the cops?
- Why did you call?
- What made you feel like they were the best option?
- What happened as a result of the call?
- Did that solve the problem?
- Can you think of something (else) that might have solved the problem?
- What do you wish would have happened?
- What would have prevented you from calling the cops in the first place?
2. Listening + Finding
CR members then collectively listen to interviews and catalogue what we hear. We draw out themes, needs, and desires from these interviews and conversations with Oaklanders.
3. Launching a project
Once we find a theme, we work with people implicated, impacted, and with particular skills or knowledge to facilitate the design and implementation of a Power Project. CR does follow-up interviews to gather additional information and insights. We then bring interviewees who raised the issue together with other experts to develop project ideas and plans. The goal of each Power Project is to address this need and diminish the role or impact of policing.
Using the first Power Project as an example, the aim is to build multiple Power Projects with people in Oakland to create resilience and transformation for people involved.