Common Ground Bursts Onto the Political Scene in Vallejo, Engaging County, City Officials and Police


It wasn’t a phone call left for a city or county official that may or may not be returned. Or a call to police dispatch that said there are 15 calls for service already on hold.

Tuesday night’s gathering at St. Basil’s gymnasium gave the community — at least 250 individuals, anyway — a chance to voice their concerns face-to-face with the Vallejo City Council, Solano County Supervisors, and law enforcement.

The... event, [organized by the seven year old IAF affiliateCommon Ground went well, with topics including homelessness, rising rents, and school safety.

“We were thrilled with the success of the evening,” said Common Ground member Cheryl Gewing.

“I think it was impactful to hear people’s personal stories and troubles they’re facing and trying to understand the process available to them,” said Councilmember Pippin Dew.

“I liked the sharing of the stories … that the community is involved and wants to work with us,” added Councilmember Rozzana Verder-Aliga.

Mayor Bob Sampayan said city officials were already aware of most of the issues presented, but it was positive to sit at a table “and hear the personalized stories.”

“I think it was awesome to have such a wide representation of people of the faith community, schools system, law enforcement, city and county leaders,” added Solano County Supervisor Erin Hannigan, calling the event “anything but warm and fuzzy. It was the cold, hard truth about what’s happening in the community.”

Co-host Tazamisha Alexander said the packed room was indicative that the community and officials are willing to work together....


[Note: Common Ground is part of the Bay Area IAFIn collaboration with the Bay Area IAF, an interfaith delegation of clergy and seminarians from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific participated in the action as part of an intensive course on community organizing.]

Citizens, officials try to find common groundTimes Herald [pdf]