Thank you to everyone who participated in the special meeting of City Council. And thank you to the countless numbers who are committed to change and bringing forward a better community and a better America.
It is great to be heard. It is greater when there is action.
One of the key areas of the City’s Strategic Plan is Organizational Excellence. For the past five years I have advocated for a city council committee focused on organizational excellence to review ALL of the city’s policies and procedures on an ongoing basis. I hope we take action to form that committee and begin that important work.
But we must do more. On Wednesday President Obama challenged all mayors, city councils, and police oversight boards to take a pledge to take the following actions:
1. REVIEW your police use of force policies.
2. ENGAGE your communities by including a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories in your review.
3. REPORT the findings of your review to your community and seek feedback.
4. REFORM your community’s police use of force policies.
On Wednesday I personally took this pledge. I am committed to reviewing eight key policies as recommended by Campaign Zero.
And there is still more we can do. Let us bring back our citizen-led Citizens Advisory Councils where people could meet together and with the police. Since February we have lost 72 CAC meetings and 72 opportunities to engage with citizens. Eight of our CACs served southeast Raleigh and the Black community. Today we have nothing and we desperately need the voice of citizens.
And there is still more. I challenge our state legislature to take action. I challenge the legislature to make our state more equitable. To name a few, End gerrymandering, and all forms of discrimination that discourage and block people from voting. Treat ALL drug addiction as an illness rather than a crime. And, Allow cities the ability to require affordable housing.
Let us work together to end the disadvantages so many face simply because of the color of their skin.