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COLOR OF CHANGE: BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S SAFER AMERICA PLAN PRIORITIZES CRIMINALIZATION OVER COMMUNITY SAFETY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 21, 2022

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media@colorofchange.org 

COLOR OF CHANGE: BIDEN ADMINISTRATION'S SAFER AMERICA PLAN PRIORITIZES CRIMINALIZATION OVER COMMUNITY SAFETY

Sakira Cook, co-interim vice-president of Color Of Change, issued the following statement following the release of President Biden’s Safer American Plan: 

“Black America will not be made safer by the Biden administration’s new Safer America Plan.  For years, advocates and community members have stressed the need for the demilitarization of our neighborhoods. The administration’s proposal to add 100,000 additional police officers to our streets and invest nearly $13 billion through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring program over the next five years underscores it is not listening to our communities or considering our demands. COPS grants are used for little more than hiring more police for streets and schools contributing to increased criminalization and incarceration of young Black people. Policing, punishment and prisons don’t make our communities safer– investments in housing, education, and community-based interventions do. It is both alarming and jarring to see the White House roll out a public safety plan that centers criminalization and deliberately disregards the longtime calls of Black leaders, activists and the everyday people who have led the largest racial justice movement in U.S. history.  

“We do applaud the White House’s plans to invest an additional $5 billion in evidence-based community violence intervention programs, including efforts to support returning citizens as they reenter into society as well as efforts to lift restrictions on access to vital federal benefits. We know what keeps people safe is a sense of community and support. People want to see their public safety dollars spent where they will actually make a difference — providing housing stability, offering mental health support, making education improvements and expanding community resources.

“Let’s redefine community violence as a public health issue once and for all and take real action to address what communities keep calling for. We must push elected officials to be inclusive of all voices in developing public safety solutions and be driven by community needs — not fear.”

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Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and governments to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit www.colorofchange.org

 

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