When we first met with Toledo city officials to discuss safety it was the summer of 2017, and it had just been announced that Toledo would partner with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on an anti-violent crime initiative. Less crime, less violence – what could be bad about that?
In case you didn’t know, it’s National Police Week. Let’s reflect on what’s missing from the conversation.
We can all agree that we want our neighborhoods to feel safe. But “safe” can mean many different things to many different people. And too often, governments have used the idea of “safety” as a way to diminish people’s rights – particularly in communities of color and low-income communities.
One of the most important rights we have in our democracy is the right to speak out on issues we care about. After 17 high school students and teachers were killed in Parkland, Florida on February 14, gun regulation quickly became one of the most discussed issues in the public sphere, and many students around the country began to speak out.
With so many candidates for Cleveland mayor and City Council this year, it can be hard to keep track of all of them. But something you must keep track of is their commitment to police reform in Cleveland.
That’s because Cleveland is in year two of a multi-year police reform process, known as the consent decree, which is overseen by a federal judge after the U.S.
In this time of fear and uncertainty, one of the best things we can do for ourselves to maintain energy and positivity is to gather in a room with others, face-to-face, to strategize about a way forward. On February 28, Oberlin College students, faculty, members of the Oberlin community, and ACLU of Ohio staff did just that.