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Sebastopol City Council: First Reading of Surveillance Technology and Community Safety Ordinance

November 15 @ 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm PST


On November 15, 2022, at 6 p.m., the Sebastopol City Council will conduct a First Reading of a Surveillance Technology and Community Safety Ordinance proposed by the ACLU of Sonoma County.  The ordinance is the result of a collaborative process with Sebastopol Police Chief Ron Nelson, who supports this effort to increase transparency and accountability when it comes to the use of surveillance technologies by law enforcement. Please show your support for the proposed ordinance by writing or calling Sebastopol City Council members and/or commenting at the City Council meeting.  More information is below.

Meeting Details

Topic: Sebastopol City Council Meeting – November 15, 2022
Time: Nov 15, 2022 06:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking link below:


Meeting ID: 898 8370 2433
Passcode: 085995

More details about the meeting can be found here.

Background Information

Please feel free to convey the following points, in your own words, in your email and/or public comment.

  • Law enforcement use of surveillance technologies and services poses significant risks and deserves the time and attention of thorough consideration and community involvement.
  • Use of surveillance systems to monitor our lives and collect information about us without our consent helps fuel an unfair criminal justice system, violates core civil rights, and prevents us from living safe, fulfilling lives.
  • Here in our community, if we care about stopping police violence, if we care about protecting activists – then we must do everything we can right now to bolster privacy protections, not build more surveillance.
  • We urge City Council to pursue adoption of the Surveillance Technology Ordinance to codify best practices for meaningful community engagement and to ensure transparency, accountability, and oversight for all proposals to acquire or use surveillance technology.
  • A surveillance technology ordinance would mandate that city departments ask the city council for permission prior to funding, acquisition or use of all surveillance technologies or services by any city department in Sebastopol.
  • A surveillance technology ordinance puts the city in the proper position where the community has control over police surveillance and minimizes the chance that surveillance programs are in operation in the city with no knowledge by the community.


City Council Contact Information

City Council Email   citycouncil@cityofsebastopol.org 

Patrick Slayter, Mayor ps.sebcc@gmail.com
Neysa Hinton, Vice Mayor nhinton@cityofsebastopol.org
Una Glass, City Councilmember una.glass.seb@sonic.net
Sarah Glade Gurney, City Councilmember sarahgurney.seb@gmail.com
Diana Gardner Rich, City Councilmember drich@cityofsebastopol.org

Please send a copy to the City Clerk so that your comment can be entered into the record.

City Clerk Mary Gourley: mgourley@cityofsebastopol.org 


Staff Report

As noted in the staff report, the proposed ordinance is the result of a collaborative process between the ACLU of Sonoma County, the ACLU of Northern California, and Police Chief Ron Nelson: “Staff worked collaboratively with the Sonoma County ACLU and other representatives from the ACLU on the draft ordinance and both sides are in agreement upon that this ordinance best satisfies the concerns of both the ACLU and the police department in regards to balancing public safety concerns and concerns over governmental overreach and potential abuses.”

The Recommendation is uniformly positive:  “It is recommended that City Council conduct a public hearing and approve waiving of the First Reading and Introduction of Ordinance and scheduled Second Reading and Adoption of Ordinance at the December 6, 2022 Council Meeting.”

The Staff Report is below and can be downloaded here.



November 15
6:00 pm - 11:00 pm PST
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