Measure Y Grantee Receives Humanitarian Award

Measure Y Grantee Marilyn Washington Harris is the 2008 City of Oakland Citizen Humanitarian Award recipient. This award, presented at In the Name of Love: The 6th Annual Musical Tribute Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 20th, recognizes an individual who has given back to the community in extraordinary ways. Marilyn Washington Harris is a long-time resident of the Acorn community in West Oakland who has become a leading activist in the effort to create a Safe Oakland.
On August 4, 2000, Mrs. Harris’ son Khadafy was shot and killed while riding his bicycle. He was only 18 years old. Mrs. Harris turned her shock and grief into determination to call a halt to the cycle of violence. Toward that end, she founded the Khadafy Foundation for Non-Violence. The purpose of the Khadafy Foundation is to serve as a catalytic agent for the prevention and cessation of the murders of young African Americans. Through Mrs. Harris’ efforts, the Khadafy Foundation provides support services to anyone who has lost a child through murder, illness, or accident. The Foundation provides consultation, education and counseling and provides referrals to relevant services. Since April 2007, as a partner with Catholic Charities in the Measure Y funded Oakland Crisis Response and Support Network (CRSN), Mrs. Harris has become a first responder to scenes of homicides and in the homes of families and friends who have lost loved ones to violence. She has assisted dozens of families with grief counseling, memorial planning and preparation, and referrals to needed services including food, clothing, child care, government assistance.
“Marilyn’s dedication, passion and abilities in her performance of her duties are priceless,” says Measure Y Violence Prevention Network Coordinator Kevin Grant. “All who, through unfortunate incidents, are blessed to meet her will always know that they have been completely embraced by a courageous, empathetic and truly wonderful person.”
Oakland voters passed Measure Y, the Violence Prevention and Public Safety Act of 2004 in November of that year, providing more than $20 million annually, generated through a new parcel tax along with a parking surcharge in commercial lots, to support police service, fire safety, and community programs. Measure Y eliminated Fire Department rotating station closures so that all fires stations are now open 24/7. Approximately $6 million annually funds community-based violence prevention programs administered through the Department of Human Services. Approximately $9 million of Measure Y revenue is set aside each year to add new Problem Solving Officers to the Oakland Police Department ranks, as well as additional officers for truancy enforcement, domestic violence, and special victims units. Measure Y is part of Mayor Ronald V. Dellums’ strategy of PIES – Prevention, Intervention, Enforcement and Sustainability.For more information, visit www.MeasureY.org.