This year and this administration have presented challenge after challenge. Communities of color in our country have been under consistent attack since November, from the repeal of DACA to the Muslim Ban to the remilitarization of the police and demonization of nonviolent protest.
Manifestations of white supremacy in our policies and our country are not new – the politics of racial exclusion have literally shaped our cities. But the frequency of crises – whether the acquittal of Slyville Smith’s killer in Milwaukee June, the killing of Justine Diamond in Minneapolis in July, white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville in August, or the Stockley verdict in St. Louis in September – has created a drumbeat demanding justice in our cities.
As crisis after crisis has unfolded this year, we have stayed connected to each other, providing strength and encouragement. Over one hundred Local Progress members took action on social media supporting Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy and elevating his successful strategy to win a racial equity budget package. Over sixty members have signed up for our Just and Accountable Policing Working Group, and in cities ranging from Albany to Seattle to San Jose to Raleigh, Local Progress members are advancing policy progress.
The challenge before us is immense. We must wrestle with the legacy of racism rooted in the histories and present day policies of our cities. We must work with community members to build collective power and co-create a path forward. We must think long-term towards transformative solutions, while at the same time pursuing incremental policy solutions that improve the lives of our constituents and communities. But we are up for it. Local Progress was founded on the premise that by working together, we can amplify and accelerate our efforts, take on big and bold challenges, and build the power we need to change in our cities and our country. In this moment, we need each other more than ever.
That’s why we are planning our first ever Local Progress Strategy Session on Racial Justice and Policing on December 2-3 in Baltimore.
This gathering will provide the opportunity for members to build a community of support and learning with peers and policy experts, to create long term strategies to advance equity and justice in our own cities, to co-create a vision for Local Progress’ work on police accountability and racial justice moving forward.
We are looking forward to this initial conversation, which will help us set strategy for our work at Local Progress in the year to come. Space is limited, so please fill out this form indicating your interest in attending the event as soon as possible.