In-N-Out is a part of our California culture. So when an icon decides to close shop and leave town, people in public office need to pay attention. And they need to act, not talk.

According to the statement by In-N-Out, customers and employees were regularly victimized by car break-ins, property damage, theft, and armed robberies.

If you can’t be safe working or patronizing a drive-thru burger place, how can you expect to feel safe at home, walking in the community, or riding public transit?

Elected officials and political candidates addressing the recent In-N-Out closure in Oakland must connect with voters by acknowledging the crime problem and offering actionable solutions. Voters are tired of excuses, promises, committees, and endless studies. Voters want action, and it needs to be swift. The message needs to be sent that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. Here is an example of starting the conversation:

Our community deserves to live and work in an environment free from the fear of car break-ins, theft, property damage, and armed robberies. The impact of these crimes extends beyond the immediate victims; it affects the fabric of our city, deterring businesses and undermining our sense of community. Voters of Oakland, I hear your call for action over excuses, for results over promises. I hear, feel, and know your frustration. My commitment is to address this crisis head-on with immediate and actionable steps.

Then, list your actionable steps. Remember, don’t call for studies, committees, or delays.

Examples Include

Increase Police Investment and Presence. Provide law enforcement with the resources to investigate crimes, make arrests, prosecute, and secure convictions.

Targeted Security Measures. Extra police in crime hot spots, increased surveillance, and community policing.

Increased Arrests, Not Just Penalties. Don’t just increase penalties, but also focus on increasing arrests.

Create your list or expand on the above.

Over Communicate 

After you present your list of solutions and begin implementing it, you need to over-communicate. Tell the public what you are doing and how it is going, and be honest with the progress. When you finish telling the public of the progress, tell the community again and again and again. The voters need to be a partner in keeping the community safe.

Don’t be afraid to push back on those who say we shouldn’t be using police on crimes like this and prosecuting these cases. Remember, this is not a national chain store – this is a California institution that people love – and it just shut its doors in Oakland because no one is stopping this crime spree.

Remember that voters are tired of the endless studies and committees that delay the implementation of solutions. You must show strength and resolve, especially because our citizens’ safety and local businesses’ viability are at stake.

You can borrow, copy, and use any of the suggestions above.