JVP - DC Metro and DC for Palestine
Support Fully Funding the NEAR Act
Calling on activists who oppose occupation in Palestine to oppose police “occupation” in DC and support community-led efforts to end violence. Support the first step: the NEAR Act.
Take 2 minutes to support a community-led effort to end violence, without policing: tinyurl.com/JVP4NEARact
After years of work by local activists of the Stop Police Terror Project DC and the DC Movement for Black Lives Steering Committee, Mayor Bowser has partially funded legislation that would use a proven model to empower neighborhoods to ensure their own safety. The NEAR Act takes the first step to transform our city’s approach to violence prevention to empower communities to address structural causes of violence rather than sending police to target symptoms. The legislation would replicate a model that reduced shootings 40% to 70% in cities as diverse as Chicago, New York, Baltimore, and Richmond, CA. In order to fully fund the effort, the people of DC need to raise their voices to tell the DC Council: “Public safety can’t be produced through mass incarceration or racial profiling, but it can be created through community-led violence prevention efforts. Fully fund the NEAR Act as originally written!”
Washington, DC is the most heavily policed city in the country (Next City). Occupation in Palestine and police “occupation” in DC produce terror for some and true safety for no one. In the US, 1 in 3 black men will be incarcerated in their lifetimes under the current system (The Sentencing Project), while in Palestine 2 in 5 men have been jailed under occupation (Samidoun). If you care about occupation and apartheid in Palestine, you should care about militarized policing and unjust sentencing at home.
Jewish Voice for Peace DC Metro and DC for Palestine seek to support organizers fighting for justice for their people and real safety for their communities, from the U.S. to Palestine. In DC, we support the first steps towards community-led violence prevention efforts in the NEAR Act. As part of our greater vision to end structural violence, we support the platform of the Movement for Black Lives as well as the 2005 Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions to free Palestine.
The NEAR Act would be one of the most innovative criminal justice reform efforts in the country. It addresses issues of community violence without resulting in the criminalization and mass incarceration we have seen since the 1980s. While we have reservations about some of the legislation’s compromise provisions, we are excited about others, including its funding for the Office of Neighborhood Safety. This agency, which will operate independent from the police, will employ community members as violence interrupters who address the roots causes of violence. Overall, the NEAR Act is a step toward empowered communities that assure their safety.
If you care about justice, from DC to Palestine, SIGN UP TO CALL IN ON MAY 15: tinyurl.com/JVP4NEARact
The Committee of the Whole will meet to mark up the budget on May 16, with a final budget vote expected on May 24. The DC Council needs to hear from people who live or work in DC that the NEAR Act must be fully-funded in order to ensure its success. Thank you for raising your voice!
Learn more from the following efforts:
Stop Police Terror Project
Movement for Black Lives Steering Committee
Black Palestinian Solidarity
Visualizing Palestine unEQUAL project
JVP Response to the Movement for Black Lives Platform