1. Defund the police.
Over time, police budgets have steadily grown as local towns and cities experience budgetary shortfalls for critical resources like public education, houselessness, and mental health. With outsized budgets, this positions police to fill gaps left by a lack of other services. This also brings police, who have a history of using deadly force against Black people, in closer proximity to our children, neighbors, and communities. Today, police budgets account for 25 percent and higher of all local budgets. Given that we're in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression now is the time to scrutinize police budgets; rethink the role of the police; and center our health, safety, and well-being. We need bold, visionary action right now.
Much has been made of reintroducing existing use-of-force regulations as a potential way forward to end police violence. Regulations are important, as they can function as a guide for police departments of any size or scale. But we cannot be more clear: They are insufficient as a solution to the problem of police violence, either incrementally or as a tool of transformation.
2. Invest in Black communities.
The record unemployment our nation is currently experiencing comes at the tail end of decades of disinvestment in Black communities and Black people. It is time to make real investments in our communities. That means diverting wasteful spending on militarized police and investing in community-based programs like healthcare, education, and housing that we know keep us safer, allow us to thrive, and preserve our dignity.
3. Call for the resignation of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has a long history of racism, division, fear mongering, and the weaponization of hate. From calling for the execution of innocent Black boys dubbed the Central Park Five in the 80s to defending murderous white supremacists in Charlottesville to using racist political messaging to support his reelection, Trump has continually put our families in danger and rolled back the rights of marginalized groups. His recent declaration, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” has put every protestor at risk. Trump and his administration have brought harm, suffering, and divisiveness, and it is time for him to resign.