The town of Portola Valley is hosting a virtual panel and Q&A on Monday, Oct. 19, entitled "Policing, Race & Justice in the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office."
Scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the event will be co-hosted by Vice Mayor Maryann Derwin and Councilman John Richards, who make up the town's recently formed Race and Equity Subcommittee. The subcommittee has spearheaded various efforts to engage residents and the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office on various issues related to policing, race and implicit bias, including creating a page on its website to collect public comments and launching a series of virtual town hall meetings on racial equity and policing with an author talk last month.
Monday's panel is the second of four anticipated town hall meetings through early next year. Panelists will include Sheriff Carlos Bolanos; Sheriff's Office Capt. Christina Corpus; District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe; Rev. Lorrie Carter Owens, president of the San Mateo County chapter of the NAACP; Kevin Allen, an attorney with the San Mateo County Private Defender's Office and organizer of a Black Lives Matter demonstration at local courts; and Michael Smith, an adjunct professor at Canada College and Redwood City Planning Commission member. It will be moderated by Henrietta Burroughs, founder of the East Palo Alto Center for Community Media.
"The role of policing in our society lies at the center of our nation's urgent search for answers to long-standing questions of race and equity," town officials said in an email promoting the event. "We have enlisted the help of seven San Mateo County professionals to provide their thoughts and experiences on this critical topic. Through a spirited conversation, ever mindful that we must all work together, we hope to emerge with next steps toward a more equitable future."
Questions during the meeting will be taken from the Q&A tool in Zoom. Questions emailed by Friday at noon to [email protected] will be included in the first round, according to the town.
To join the Zoom discussion, visit tinyurl.com/pvmeetinglink and enter the passcode 762620, or dial 877-853-5247. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/pvconversation.