The chair of Vallejo’s Surveillance Advisory Board and co-founder of the local American Civil Liberties Union chapter is running for mayor, promising shakeups in the city’s “status quo.”
Andrea Sorce, a frequent attendee at Vallejo City Council meetings and outspoken critic of the Vallejo Police Department, is running on a platform of transparency, accountability and economic growth. She joins Realtor and former Vice Mayor Pippin Dew in the race to fill the seat of Mayor Robert McConnell when his term ends in January 2025.
“I think for me, it was seeing the community so frustrated with the status quo and seeing what I feel is a lack of leadership,” Sorce said. “I feel like Vallejo deserves better leadership, and the community for years now has just lost trust in City Hall.”
Sorce took aim at what she sees as “a culture of covering up wrongdoing.” She wants to see “a trusted independent investigator” look into former police Chief Shawny Williams’ resignation last November, as well as the unhoused people who died on the city’s watch in Project RoomKey.
“I think when you have a city where people that do the right thing are punished and people that do the wrong thing are promoted, that is going to deter good people from wanting to work for the city,” she said.
Sorce, an economics professor at Diablo Valley College who previously served in the Peace Corps, said she also wants to see more tax dollars “going to the right problems” in Vallejo – issues like the city’s poor roads and insufficient housing. And she wants to help develop more concrete plans for improving the city’s economy.
The candidate accused local leaders of sometimes taking an “us-versus-them” approach to their own community, deterring people from getting more involved in local politics through policies such as limiting physical access to Vallejo City Hall. Moreover, she blamed the city’s current police officer shortage on a “lack of accountability for wrongdoing, and a lack of leadership, and a lack of support for the folks that have tried to take it on.”
The Vallejo Police Officers’ Association has said the recent wave of resignations results from “the city council’s continued disrespect for our officers and the work that we do.” But Sorce argued that the police department’s culture is deterring many officers from wanting to work there.
“The criticism has never been anti-police. It’s been anti-corruption,” she said, referring to her own track record of fiery public comments.
Sorce believes Vallejo has “made some real progress” in recent elections. She said the city has a long way to go, but she has faith that it can get there.
“It’s doable,” she said. “It’s not easy, but it’s doable. I think there’s real cause for optimism.”
For more information about Andrea, visit the Vallejo Sun’s tagged collection of posts naming or quoting her.
While you’re there, consider supporting independent news in Solano County with a subscription. Per the BenIndy’s Editor Emeritus Roger Straw, “the Vallejo Sun is celebrating it’s second anniversary, and has earned my respect with excellent in-depth reporting on police, local government, schools, arts, and local events. Recently, I re-subscribed with a voluntary increase in my annual renewal amount. You can subscribe here.”
You can also read more about Andrea at Open Vallejo. Open Vallejo is an “award-winning, independent, non-partisan, nonprofit newsroom serving the public interest.” It’s tireless work unburdening a city from a history of “police violence, corruption, and neglect” is truly phenomenal and also worthy of your support.