Extend the Public Safety Task Force
At the upcoming City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 14, the council will consider whether to extend the Reimagining Public Safety Community Task Force, whose mandate is set to expire on September 30. It is crucial that our community voice its support for the Task Force’s continuation.
The Task Force continues to do essential work monitoring and supporting the implementation of the city’s new strategies for public safety and educating the community about these strategies. There are already more than 350 youth who have been hired at 76 sites around the city through the expanded youth jobs program. But the implementation has only just begun: the city has neither hired new staff for the expanded work of the Office of Neighborhood Safety nor a director of the new Community Crisis Response Program. And the Mayor, police union, and others continue to spread misinformation about budget reallocation efforts and smear community members speaking out in support of this transformation.
The Task Force is an indispensable platform for the in-depth, community-centered, publicly accountable work needed to make a bold transformation of a system that has been built up and reinforced through decades of racist and regressive policy and investments. Richmond is making real what many communities around the country are struggling to achieve.
Vocal support for the Task Force is especially necessary now. The campaign against this progressive transformation of our public safety system has been scaled up in recent weeks, with a citywide mailer and social media campaign. These are the well-resourced methods of fear and misinformation that the Richmond Police Officers Association and Chevron have used in the past, and that Chevron has supported across the country.
We must continue to mobilize with renewed energy to reimagine public safety and make these visions into reality. Please join the City Council meeting on September 14th and share your views on why the Reimagining Public Safety Community Task Force must be extended.