Safe Streets/Strong Communities Independent Police Monitor Action alert

Date Published: 
June 17, 2008

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Safe Streets/Strong Communities
Independent Police Monitor Action Alert
Appreciation and Thanks to the Social Justice Community
Safe Streets/Strong Communities wants to thank all of our members, allies and friends for taking time out of your busy schedules to come out on Thursday June 5th for the city council meeting.  We had a strong showing of over 50 people and, standing together, we let the city council know that people of color, poor people and justice-minded folks in this city will no longer tolerate abuses at the hands of the NOPD.
City Council Update: What Happened on Thursday June 5th?
On Thursday the city council approved the proposed charter amendment which will put the issue to New Orleans voters on the October 4th ballot.  THIS IS A HUGE FIRST STEP.  If the voters agree, the Independent Police Monitor will become a permanent agency with permanent funding and be housed within the Inspector General's office.   In addition, the ordinance that creates the Independent Police Monitor and defines its purpose and scope was also introduced.  Please see attached Independent Police Monitor Fact Sheet for more information about the office.
Safe Streets knows this happened only because of the strong presence we had at the council meeting.  Behind the scenes the council was getting pressure to stall this vote and it was our showing that forced them to proceed on as planned.  Please see these links for the media coverage from Thursday:
What's next?
The fight is far from over.  On June 19th the Ordinance to establish the Independent Police Monitor will come up for a vote.  Though almost everyone is saying publicly that they will support the Independent Police Monitor, we know there are many powerful forces behind the scenes working to dilute the power and authority of the IPM and intimidate city council people to withdraw support.  We need to pack the city council chambers once more to make sure the council stays strong in its commitment to building an IPM office with the political independence, power and authority to do the job right.
Applying pressure to city council members leading up to this vote is critical.
1)  We need to flood the city council with voicemails and emails in support of the Independent Police Monitor.  We are calling on all of our friends and allies to pick up the phone RIGHT NOW and call your city council person & the city council at-large members (see below for phone numbers).  All you need to say is:
My name is ____ and I am calling to let you know that I stand with Safe Streets/Strong Communities in demanding a politically independent and fully resourced Independent Police Monitor office.   Vote YES on Thursday.
Jackie Clarkson (City Council President): Phone: (504) 658-1070
Arnie Filekow (City Council Vice President):  Phone: (504) 658-1060
Shelly Midura (District A): Phone: (504) 658-1010
Stacy Head (District B): Phone: (504) 658 -1020
James Carter (District C): Phone: (504) 658-1030
Cynthia Hedge-Morrell (District D): Phone: (504) 658-1040
Cynthia Willard-Lewis (District E): Phone: (504) 658-1050
Imagine how many calls we could get in if we took just 3 minutes at the beginning of every meeting we attend to have those around us call their city council person. These calls really do make a difference to city council members.
Shortly, we will send out a link to the Katrina Information Network allowing you to send an email to your city council person.
2) SHOW up to City Council on Thursday June 19th to stand with Safe Streets/Strong Communities and others when the vote on the Independent Police Monitor Ordinance comes up.  We are unsure what time we will come up on the agenda but should have more information Wednesday and will send out another update.
3) Talk to your friends and neighbors about the Independent Police Monitor.  Make sure they know about it and invite them to come out and join us.
And again, thanks so much to everyone who came out on Thursday and made calls and sent emails.   If you have any questions or suggestions, just give us a call at 522-3949.