Like most people in our country, we have been horrified to see and hear the stories of police brutality, particularly against Black people. Black Lives Matter. We believe we must deeply examine the institutionalized and systemic racism in our country. There is so much to do, and it can feel like an overwhelming battle, but many organizations are advocating for change on many fronts.
One of those organizations is our client, Campaign Zero. Founded in the aftermath of the
death of Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer and the subsequent uprising in Ferguson, Campaign Zero focuses squarely on reducing police violence. They do this using a data-driven approach, focused on the solutions that have been proven to reduce police violence. They advocate for policy changes at the local level - in mayors offices, with city councils, and in police departments.
They’ve launched campaigns which encourage the public to advocate for change with their local leaders, and have seen significant gains from their efforts. Their 8cantwait campaign is focused on reducing the use of force by police, by enacting eight reforms such as banning chokeholds, requiring de-escalation, and exhausting alternatives before shooting. Their website allows users to search for their own municipality, and includes contact information for local leaders to make things easy for individuals and communities to advocate on their own.
Their latest campaign, Nixthe6, advocates for changing policies within police union contracts that make it difficult to hold police officers accountable for misconduct. This video does a great job of outlining some of the things they are trying to change. Campaign Zero started advocating for change in police union contracts in 2015, and has worked with local organizers to challenge provisions within them. This coordinated campaign allows individuals to advocate for these changes in their own community as well.
We are so inspired by DeRay McKesson and the team at Campaign Zero. We’ve gotten an inside look at how much effort goes into gathering the data required to make change in so many different communities. We are hopeful that the results of their work will make true concrete change to end police brutality.
For more information, visit www.joincampaignzero.org