Oakland city official proposes plan to crack down on sideshow organizers, spectators

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Oakland city official wants crackdown on sideshow spectators
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An Oakland city official is proposing a plan to crack down on sideshow participants, as well as those who advertise and come out to view them.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- After no arrests were made following another sideshow in San Francisco on Friday, many Bay Area residents are becoming increasingly frustrated over the persistent problem.

But, one local city is looking to increase pressure to try and bring them to an end.

"Where I live, I hear them every night. Not only are they on major streets, intersections, but then they're in the neighborhood section as well now," said Oakland City Councilmember, Noel Gallo.

VIDEO: Sideshow on busy Embarcadero in SF, concerns rise over police response

On Tuesday, Gallo put forward a proposal that would crack down not just on those participating in sideshows in the city, but also those who advertise them and come out to view them.

"If you're promoting, they will cite you, fine you. If you're out there in the vehicle doing the sideshow - well, we'll impound the vehicle but also cite you," Gallo said.

Not everyone agrees with Gallo's plan, though.

Some, like Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, think the city would be better off investing in community activities as an alternative for young people.

"I believe that criminalization isn't the solution. It only serves to keep incarcerating Black and Brown youth and young adults," said Alex Toris.

VIDEO: How these Bay Area cities are transforming intersections to crack down on illegal sideshows

It's a rationale that Gallo doesn't buy.

"Whether you're Latino, African American, you don't have an excuse or reason to not only make it unsafe for yourself from what you're doing," Gallo said.

The Oakland City Council postponed a vote on the measure until Dec. 20. - buying more time until the size of potential penalties and other details can be worked out.

But despite the delay, Gallo says he's hopeful the council will soon pass the proposal.

"We want to make sure that our children and families have a safe place to live, and be able to walk, ride your bike and enjoy the neighborhood," Gallo said.

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