March 19, 2018
VIA CPRA PORTAL
Office of the Mayor
CA Public Records Act (CPRA) Request
Office of the Custodian of Records
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, 3rd Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
RE: CPRA Request
I write on behalf of my client the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a national, nonprofit public interest, membership organization of concerned Americans who share a common belief that our nation’s immigration policies must be reformed to serve the national interest.
On February 24, 2018, the Office of Mayor Libby Schaaf issued a press release notifying the public of information she learned from multiple credible sources that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was preparing to conduct an operation in the Bay Area, including Oakland, starting as soon as the next 24 hours.
It has also been reported by ICE that Mayor Schaaf’s actions led to hundreds of illegals evading detention.
Under California Public Records Act (CPRA) § 6250 et seq, FAIR hereby requests that you produce the following records. Specifically,
- Any and all records of communications, including but limited to emails, between City of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf; Chief of Staff Shereda Nosakhare; Director of Public Safety Venus D. Johnson; Director of Communications Justin Berton; and Police Chief Anne E. Kirkpatrick referring or relating to Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE from February 23, 2018 through February 24, 2018.
- Any and all records of communications, including but limited to emails, between City of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf; Chief of Staff Shereda Nosakhare; Director of Public Safety Venus D. Johnson, Director of Communications Justin Berton; and Police Chief Anne E. Kirkpatrick referring or relating to the ICE raid or operation on the Bay Area from February 23, 2018 through February 24, 2018.
FAIR believes that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest and will not be used for personal or commercial benefit. The requested information is in the public interests because the principle purpose of our request is to “access and disseminate information” regarding potential coordination between City of Oakland taxpayer-funded agencies’ and outside advocacy groups. Any resources expended by the agency in any communications with any third-party, ideological groups is in the natural interest of the City of Oakland taxpayers. Furthermore, the requested information is not for personal or commercial benefit. FAIR intends to disseminate the information through its various outlets to increase public understanding of immigration issues.
Although CPRA contains no provision for fee waivers; however, agencies may reduce or waive fees under the discretionary authority granted agencies under the CPRA to adopt requirements that provide greater access than the minimum standards set forth in the CPRA. Cal. Gov't Code § 6253(e); see also North County Parents Org. v Dept. of Ed., 23 Cal. App. 4th 144, 148, 28 Cal. Rptr. 2d 359 (1994) (wherein the court held that the agency had discretionary authority under CPRA to reduce or waive the fee for duplicating public records).
FAIR is a nonprofit organization as defined under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and does not seek this information for any commercial benefit. FAIR’s committed to protecting the public’s right to be aware of the immigration-related activities of government agencies and to ensuring the lawful and appropriate use of government funds by those agencies. Of the information requested, there is no possibility, let alone plans, of pursuing profitmaking opportunities. The information will be used to further the knowledge and interests of the general public. FAIR intends on disseminating its analysis of the requested information through its regular channels, discussed below. FAIR will be using this information for nonprofit activities, not a commercial purpose.
FAIR has a lengthy track record of using information about immigration for journalistic purposes. FAIR is the largest immigration reform organization in the United States and for more than thirty-five years has published and disseminated information to the public about immigration-related current events through various media forms. For instance:
- FAIR maintains a frequently visited website at http://www.fairus.org/ that contains numerous news articles, action alerts, polls, press releases, studies, and reports authored by FAIR staff members.
- FAIR publishes a newsletter called the “FAIR Immigration Report,” which is the nation’s most widely read U.S. immigration reform newsletter, packed with immigration reform facts and news regarding the activities of federal and state courts, legislatures, and executive officials.
- FAIR disseminates information via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. FAIR’s YouTube videos have more than 16 million views to date, FAIR’s Facebook page currently registers more than 1.6 million likes, and FAIR’s Twitter feed has more than 140,000 followers.
- FAIR spokespersons regularly give interviews and disseminate information on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, among other TV stations, and hundreds of radio stations.
- FAIR spokespersons regularly give interviews for news articles and author news pieces that appear in the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, and hundreds of other newspapers, magazines, and websites.
- FAIR annually hosts a conference in Washington D.C. titled, “Hold Their Feet to the Fire,” which is the nation’s largest annual immigration-media event where nearly fifty radio hosts from across the country have broadcast their shows live from the event while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, state lawmakers, experts, journalists, activists, and citizens regarding immigration-related issues.
- FAIR staff members regularly testify before congressional and state legislative committees as experts on immigration-related issues.
FAIR will use its combined multi-decades of experience in policy analysis, investigative reporting, government oversight, and federal public interest litigation to turn the documents requested in this CPRA request into distinct works that it will disseminate through the aforementioned media outlets.
In an effort to facilitate production, FAIR requests that records be produced in electronic format (e.g., e-mail, pdf). If a certain set of responsive records can be produced more readily, we respectfully request that those records be produced first and that the remaining records be produced on a rolling basis as circumstances permit.
If you have any questions about this request or if it lacks specificity or is otherwise deficient, please contact John Rooney at (202) 232-5590 or by e-mail at FOIA@irli.org before sending out a determination letter. If any or all of the request items detailed are more appropriate for another component(s) within the City of Oakland, it would be very appreciated if you could re-route the item(s) to that component(s) on our behalf. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Julie B. Axelrod
Encl.: Aforementioned federal agency-letters granting FAIR “news media requester” status.
 See, e.g., published opinion pieces (http://www.fairus.org/media/published-opinion-pieces); press releases (http://www.fairus.org/media/press-releases); polls (http://www.fairus.org/facts/post-election-polls); studies and reports (http://www.fairus.org/issues).
 See https://fairus.org/news/newsletters.
 See YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/fairfederation?feature=watch); Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FAIRImmigration); and Twitter (https://twitter.com/fairimmigration).
 See, e.g., https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUWsip06MQAx5yQ6qP0Ud54C_tQE0hUji.
 See, e.g., http://www.fairus.org/media/published-opinion-pieces.
 See https://fairus.org/fair-radio-row-2017.
 See, e.g., https://fairus.org/about-fair/impact/congressional-testimony.