Hi there! What a crazy few weeks it has been. I’m exhausted. Are you exhausted? This is how I feel. Y’all, I need a nap!
I want to be super super sensitive to this topic, because too often people forget that “the government” is made up of real people. We have to remember that Police departments, City officials, and County leadership teams are also coaches to youth sports, parents of babies, aunts and uncles, people who start non-profits and most importantly, they are real people.
Please read through this while understanding, the conversations are important, but how we have the conversations is just as important.
This post has been weeks in the making. I was going through this list and realized how many of the action steps I truly didn’t know what they were.
So, here is a compiled list of conversations we can start having with our local government, to help learn more about city and county processes, where budgets and funds go, why they go places, and how we can help end systemic racism in our own neighborhoods.
1. Reach Out to your local police department. Ask if they are required to use body cameras, and if they don’t use them while on duty, are there written consequences? Ask if they currently do ongoing de-escalation training (training on how to calm a situation down). Ask to do a ride a long. Sit with your local PD and see what a day in the life looks like from their point of view. It’s okay to disagree with how they do things, but we want them to go a mile in our shoes, so let’s go a mile in theirs. Contact info below:
2. Email your Mayor and ask to take them to lunch, or to coffee, or a meeting (it could be terrifying being asked to meet in public with the current events). Then, with grace and love, ask about what policies they have in place to protect people of color, and minorities.
Ask what their main initiatives are, and why they have chosen them. Ask lots of questions, and listen with ears to hear their heart and mission.
Do they have policies or process to re-name historical sites, street names, or monuments that are offensive?
Do they have ways they are fighting the preschool to prison pipeline?
How are they empowering young BIPOC men and women to be entrepreneurs?
How are they ensuring events the city puts on are inclusive of all races, ethnicities, and cultures?
How are they working towards a diverse leadership team?
3. Start Googling….I know, I know, it’s hard! It is. I have been doing it every day for the past few weeks trying to learn about what changes can be made, that really make a difference. It’s hard to see past the political agendas, the extreme headlines that are out to dehumanize those with different opinions. It is hard to find real information, but it is possible.
There is so much more I could say about talking with our local governments. Those who choose to protect us, stand up for us, and maintain our cities and counties, I believe have the cities best interest at heart. I believe they want to do good. I also believe that change has to happen, but change happens over time.
Stay tuned for more posts next week! I am super excited to talk about Fathers Day, the importance of community in the time of Corona Virus, and as always, loving our neighbors and living with empathy in action.
Thank you for reading!!!