When our demands go unaddressed, we escalate!!!
April 4th, 2018
Dear Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms,
We, the Alliance for Black Lives, come today with a heavy heart to deliver the demand and dream of the communities we represent. As the nation takes a moment to reflect on the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by the U.S. government, we are ashamed of what has become of his dream in the city that he called home. In order to fulfill Dr. King’s dream we must divest from the three evils (racism, militarization, and capitalism) and invest in our communities. We demand that the 2019 budget incorporate a community-controlled budget line in which a negotiated percentage of the general fund be allocated, in order for communities in areas directly impacted by the war on drugs, mass incarceration, joblessness and housing injustice can manifest the dreams WE have for our communities. We envision a communal process of participatory budgeting that will engage community members, small business owners, faith communities, youth, parents, and elders in determining the community-based services, programs, and infrastructure that we need to sustain and nurture us.
This is a radical demand and it is necessary in order to achieve the radical shift in values that Dr. King talked about. How this city’s leadership spends money is a reflection of our values and it is clear that this city does not value poor and working class Black and brown people. For too long we have watched this city invest in the interest of big corporations, tourist, gentrifiers, and special interest groups that profit off our our suffering. We’ve watch the social safety net be pulled from under our feet and our people be hauled off into cages, pushed out of our neighborhoods, and given the crumbs that fall from the plates of the greedy. Police have been given millions of dollars to buy military grade weapons, target, survelle and kill us where we stand, even in our own backyards, and yet the safety of the public rests in their hands. Public safety can only be actualized when people have dignified work and housing, livable wages, healthy food, and meaningful purpose. We say it’s time to restore the self-determination of undervalued communities to not only bring about King’s dream, but to fulfill those dreams in our communities that have been too long deferred.
Will you meet our demand and help manifest the dream?
The Alliance for Black Lives