Real safety is when people have everything they need to thrive — a place to live, a dignified job that provides economic security and access to opportunities, and the resources to care for themselves and their loved ones. For too long, we’ve relied solely on policing and punishment while at the same time underinvesting in public housing, infrastructure, schools, and healthcare – which has caused decades of harm in Black and Brown communities. It doesn’t have to be this way.
For decades, communities have been modeling and investing in ways that address root causes of harm and violence without criminalization and incarceration. Now, local governments across the country are pushing for and investing in these community-led strategies so their impacts can be widely felt.
As a membership organization, we believe our work is most impactful when it is informed and guided by members. Bringing a diverse range of expertise and local experience, our Public Safety Steering Committee advises and shapes our work in this area:
Philadelphia City Councilmember, PA
New York City Councilmember, NY
Racine County Supervisor, WI
Former Pheonix Mayor Pro Tem, AZ
Los Angeles City Councilmember, CA
Montgomery County Councilmember, MD
Rochester City Council Vice President, NY
San Antonio Councilmember, TX
Minneapolis Councilmember, MN
Durham Public Schools Board Member, NC
Chicago Alderperson, IL
Detroit City Councilmember, MI
Former Oak Park Village Trustee, IL
Antioch Councilmember, CA
Community response units have transformed from a theoretical idea to functioning programs in dozens of localities across the country. This tool will help local elected officials create and scale community responder programs that help build real safety. It provides concrete steps, strategic considerations, and recommendations from experts in the field. It supports local leaders to utilize their strategic position as power brokers within government and organizers within their communities.
Reform/Transform: A Policing Policy Toolkit is a framework and policy roadmap supporting local elected officials in making exactly these types of changes. The toolkit provides a simple, user-friendly framework for cities to evaluate policies across a dozen metrics ranging from oversight and change to department policies to limiting ICE collaboration.
Investing in Real Safety is a how-to guide for policymakers is a new budget analysis microsite meant to supplement Reform/Transform‘s comparative budgeting tool with in-depth guidance on how to examine how police budgets are structured and how to make investments in the resources that truly create safety.
We succeed when we collectively and consistently drive a shared vision of community safety. Let's Talk Real Safety is a messaging guide that provides local elected officials and their staff with shared language around community safety. It is grounded in the latest research, polling, and nationally-tested messaging.