It is time for a change. #DefundThePolice #InvestInCommunity #InvestInOurSchools
Things are moving at a rapid pace. Every day we see rays of hope and shadows of despair.
This year alone, there have been at least 5 lynchings of people of color across the country, 2 of which occurred in California cities, Victorville and Palmdale.
Despite all this, several days ago, in the early morning hours, the Columbus statue in front of Coit Tower came down. A symbol of white supremacy in our city since 1957, it came down. Just like that.
The day before it was Aunt Jemima. Gone!
This weekend, the statues of Junipero Serra and Francis Scott Key were toppled. Just like that!
Thus, amidst the heartbreaking violence and racial hatred we see erupting across the country, these rays of hope should affirm the work we are doing.
As Audre Lorde told us “Your silence will not protect you.”
For far too long we have been silent about the things that are wrong with our country and our city. Silent about the racism in our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods, Silent about the cruelty of our law enforcement system. Silent about the apathy of our courts, legislators, and elected leaders.
Silence will not protect us. SILENCE IS CONSENT.
We get what we accept. I will no longer accept a school system that calls police on Black mothers who are advocating for their children’s rights.
I will no longer accept that an officer with a gun is the best person to de-escalate violence in our schools and on our streets.
I will no longer accept that a state which is the 5th largest economy in the world, can’t afford to bring per-pupil education spending to the national average.
It is time for a change.
And now is not the time for incremental change. Now is the time for sweeping, healing, liberatory change!
Kevin Boggess of Coleman Advocates and I have been working on a resolution in collaboration with many other community leaders, students, and Black parent leaders. This resolution is also co-sponsored by President Mark Sanchez and Commissioner Jenny Lam.
Read more about the resolution here: School District moves to part ways with SFPD
This resolution will direct the District to discontinue our MOU with the SFPD. In its place, it directs the district to define clear policies and protocols to protect our youth, families, and staff from unnecessary contact with law enforcement.
The resolution also asks the city to reallocate monies spent on the current School Resource Officer program and other law enforcement and invest these dollars into Whole Community Schools and community-based violence prevention and youth development programs.
The resolution has been posted on BoardDocs on the agenda for the Regular Board Meeting on Tuesday, June 23rd.
It takes the hood to save the hood
As, Rudy Corpuz, of United Playaz, always says, “It takes the hood to save the hood.” Rudy Corpuz, Brothers Against Guns, Uncle Damien, and many others remind me that the only way to heal our communities is by investing in them.
I am grateful that elected leaders like Mayor Breed and Supervisor Walton and others are leading important conversations across the city about reforming our police department and investing in the Black community.
We need young men, women, and non-binary folks to help us reduce conflict in our schools and in our neighborhoods.
We need our city to invest in mentors for our youth, and social and emotional support for our families so our educators can better focus on their job — educating kids.
We can’t do this alone. We need your support. All of you. Parents. Students. Educators. Labor leaders. Community organizers. Business owners. Elected officials.
We’ve seen how quickly change can come. But there is a lot of work to do. 400+ years worth.
This past Friday, on Juneteenth, our nation celebrated the liberation of Black people from slavery. 155 days later, our people are still not free. Let us be inspired by recent victories, and keep this momentum going. Don’t stop! Keep pushing. Let’s liberate all people, together!