Updated: Jun 7
Photograph via City Film for Rose Caucus, Charles Cadkin, 2020.
From voting rights to incarceration, education, housing, and income, black Americans are absolutely not afforded equality or justice in our society. The US must come to grips with the deep structural racism built into our laws and economy, and that starts by recognizing that Black Lives Matter.
1. Reparations Pay reparations to the descendants of African slaves, fully funded by a wealth tax;. This is a deliberate redistribution of historically plundered wealth to the impacted communities from whom it was stolen (who still suffer a massive, totally unaddressed wealth gap.) 2. Restorative Justice Federally fund the creation of Restorative Justice Offices in every state to implement Restorative Justice Best Practices (including accountability metrics, democratic control, and non-carceral policing standards) set forth by the Movement for Black Lives and other impacted communities. 3. Community Control Until such a time as the police can be abolished, establish direct-democratic community control of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, ensuring that communities most harmed by destructive policing have the power to hire and fire officers, determine disciplinary action, control budgets and policies, and subpoena relevant agency information. 4. Racial Justice Policy Source federal racial justice policy exclusively from impacted communities. We have adopted much of this policy from Campaign Zero (by the Movement for Black Lives) and the rest is derived from direct interaction with racial justice activists. Ending Violence against Black & Brown Communities 5. Abolish the Police Defund the Police
Reject any proposed expansion to police budgets.
Demand the highest budget cuts per year, until they slash police budget to zero.
Slash police salaries across the board until they are zeroed out.
No investment in police training.
No investment in police facility renovations.
Abolish asset forfeiture programs and laws.
Prohibit private-public innovation schemes that profit from temporary technological fixes to systemic problems of police abuse and violence.
Cut police funding for public relations.
End all police contracts with social services, care services and government agencies providing care.
Dis-empower Police Unions
Reduce the power of police unions.
Until the police are fully defunded, make police union contract negotiations public.
Pressure the AFL-CIO to denounce police unions.
Prohibit city candidates taking money from police unions and stop accepting union funds.
Immediately fire police officers who have any excessive force complaints.
Withhold pensions and don’t rehire cops involved in use of excessive force.
No hiring of new officers or replacement of fired or resigned officers.
Suspend the use of paid administrative leave for cops under investigation.
Deplatform white supremacist public officials.
Repeal all laws that hide, excuse, or enable police misconduct.
Repeal the Law Enforcement Bill of Rights.
6. Demilitarize Our Communities Disarm the Police Disarm all law enforcement officers, until such a time as they can be abolished & replaced with appropriate community/social services Communities
End the militarization of Black and brown neighborhoods by ending broken windows policing, “precision policing,” community policing, and all iterations of quality of life policing programs (neighborhood policing, “gang” policing, “repeat-offender” policing, etc).
Withdraw participation in police militarization programs and refuse federal grants that entangle municipal police entities with the Department of Homeland Security, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and FBI.
Prohibit training exchanges between U.S. law enforcement and global military and policing entities. These relationships circulate deadly techniques and technologies, exporting the American model of racist policing worldwide.
Remove cops from hospitals.
Prohibit law enforcement access to private patient information.
Remove police, both public and private, from all schools.
Call on universities to dissolve relationships with police departments.
Prohibit police departments from using city contracts with universities to do IRB-exempt data analysis, geographic and community profiling, human-computer amelioration studies, and predictive analytics. Instead, divert funds to public service-related studies and community collaborations.
Remove surveillance tech and metal detectors from all schools.
End the use of property taxes to determine school funding.
End school zero-tolerance disciplinary policies.
End the use of carceral-lite punishment of students, including suspensions and expulsions, that disproportionately target Black and brown students, especially Black girls.
Urge states to repeal truancy laws.
Prohibit the surveillance of Black and brown students by their teachers, counselors, and school officials through programs that criminalize students and exploit relationships of trust with school officials, including Countering Violent Extremism/Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention.
7. Diversify Community Services Demand community services (like social workers, licensed therapists/counselors, De-escalation specialists, etc) that reflect the diversity of our communities, including in training for academics & leadership. 8. Civilian-Controlled Agencies & Oversight
Promote neighborhood councils as representative bodies within municipal decision making.
Invest in multilingual resources for immigrant and asylum-seeking communities. Assess community needs and invest in community-based resources, including groups from tenant unions to local shop-owners and street vendors, prioritizing those from marginalized groups.
Invest in land stewardship councils to oversee return of land to Indigenous communities.
Invest in community-based public safety approaches, including non-carceral violence prevention and intervention programs and skills-based education on bystander intervention, consent and boundaries, and healthy relationships. Create independent, transparent, 100% civilian-controlled agencies, which allow civilians to report the actions of abusive forces within our communities, without fear of retaliation, and would provide accountability structures to immediately dis-empower and remove individuals who abuse their power from their positions.
9. End Mass Surveillance
Acknowledge that surveillance technologies (CCTV, face printing, DNA and biometric databases, acoustic gunshot detection, drones, AI and risk profiling algorithms, and other forms of predictive policing) are weapons in the hands of law enforcement. End police contracts with any private companies that provide these services and prohibit the experimental design and rollout of in-house systems.
10. Invest in Communities, Not Cops
Allocate city funding towards healthcare infrastructure (including non-coercive mental healthcare), wellness resources, neighborhood based trauma centers, non-coercive drug and alcohol treatment programming, peer support networks, and training for healthcare professionals. Make these services available for free to low-income residents. Adopt a care not cops model.
Invest in teachers and counselors, universal childcare, and support for all family structures.
Free and accessible public transit.
Install safe and sanitary gender-inclusive public restrooms.
Ensure investment in community-based food banks, grocery cooperatives, gardens, and farms.
Ensure free, and more extensive, public transport, especially servicing marginalized and lower-income communities.
Invest in youth programs that promote learning, safety, and community care.
Pay reparations to individuals who were incarcerated or had property seized due to marijuana- related offenses.
11. Housing for All
Cancel rent without burden of repayment during COVID-19.
Repurpose empty buildings, houses, apartments, and hotels to house people experiencing homelessness.
Remove cops from all re-entry and shelter institutions.
Provide unequivocal support and resources to refugee and asylum seeking communities.
Allow Community Benefits Agreements to be a community governed means of urban planning. Make public housing accessible to everyone, repealing discriminatory laws barring people from accessing resources based on income, race, gender, sexuality, immigration status, or history of incarceration.
Support and promote the existence of community land trusts for Black and historically displaced communities.
Ensure that survivors of gendered violence have access to alternative housing options in the event that their primary housing becomes unsafe.
Provide non-coercive housing options for young people experiencing abuse or family rejection of their queer or trans identities.
Ending Political Disenfranchisement 14. Restore Voting Rights Restore voting rights to every American who currently cannot vote due to a felony conviction. This includes currently incarcerated persons. 15. Election Day Make Election Day a national holiday to increase voters’ ability to participate. 16. Voting Accessibility Enact prepaid vote-by-mail nationwide. 17. No-Fault Absentee Ballots Make no-fault absentee ballots an option for all Americans. 18. Automatic Voter-Registration Automatically register every American to vote when they turn 18 or move to a new state. The burden of registering voters should be on the state, not the individual voter. 19. Protect Minority Votes End discriminatory laws and the purging of minority-community names from voting rolls. 20. Expand Polling Locations Ensure that there are sufficient polling places and poll workers to prevent long lines from forming at the polls anywhere. Ending For-Profit Incarceration 21. Ban For-Profit Prisons Ban all for-profit prisons, which create incentive to arrest, jail and detain non-violent offenders in order to keep prison beds full. 22. End the "War on Drugs" End the failed “War on Drugs” and eliminate mandatory minimums which result in sentencing disparities between black and white people. 23. Legalize It! Federally legalize cannabis. 24. Decriminalize Drug Use Federally decriminalize all drug use and treat the opioid and methamphetamine epidemics like a public health emergency. 25. Legalized Banking Access Allow people in states which legalize marijuana like Washington to be able to fully participate in the banking system and not be subject to federal prosecution for using pot. 26. End Quotas Investigate local governments that are using implicit or explicit quotas for arrests or stops. Federally ban arrest quotas. 27. End Fines as Revenue Stop local governments that are relying on fines, fees or asset forfeitures as a steady source of revenue. 28. CAF Reparations Require governments funded by civil asset forfeiture to pay reparations to individuals whose property/assets were unfairly seized by a predatory system of policing. Ending Environmental Violence 29. Protect Climate-Impacted Communities Protect low-income and minority communities, who are hit worst by the effects of climate change, while also protecting existing energy-sector workers as they transition into clean energy and other jobs. 30. Equal Enforcement Require equal enforcement of environmental, civil rights and public health laws across all communities. 31. Clean Up Waste Address the inadequate environmental cleanup efforts of ‘Superfund’ hazardous waste sites in communities of color. 32. End Environmental Racism Stop the unequal exposure of people of color to harmful chemicals, pesticides and other toxins in homes, schools, neighborhoods and workplaces, and challenge faulty assumptions in calculating, assessing and managing risks, discriminatory zoning and land-use practices and exclusionary policies. 33. Cleaner Products, Cleaner Jobs Federally mandate cleaner manufacturing processes, renewable energy systems, and safe product designs that end pollution and the use of toxic chemicals while providing safe jobs and other economic benefits for people of color.