An Open Letter to Our Community

We are still reeling from this past election. We are still in shock but not surprised that white supremacy has taken the highest office. But we are not done fighting for you, for us.

We are committed to our community, which is why we drafted this bill in the first place. We came together as community organizations and activists, but mostly as individuals who are directly affected by this work. We heard your stories of police harassment and brutality, knew of the trauma that you talked about because we’ve experienced it too. So, we drafted the CSA as a form of protection for us, the community, from the Providence Police Department.

Now that White Supremacy is in office, we must work faster to pass the CSA. We must protect the most vulnerable people in our community, from youth to immigrants to people of color. We do not want to compromise the safety of our community any longer.

To Mayor Elorza who has publicly stated that he wants to pass his own CSA, you are compromising the safety of our community. We have come to you repeatedly since you took office to be a part of this work and you refused until we shamed you to a meeting. And now, to say that you want to write a new CSA from scratch and invite us to the planning table is an insult and a danger to us.

We have been at the table. We built the chairs, the table, the house, everything. We have poured so much time, resources, energy into this ordinance. So when you tell us that you want to start from scratch instead of investing in what the community has repeatedly told you it needs, well Mayor Elorza that’s a danger to our safety.

We are done waiting for you to support our community.

The City Council of Providence is holding a special Ordinance Committee on November 28th at 515pm to vote on the Providence Community Safety Act. If 3 members of the Ordinance Committee vote yes, the CSA comes to a full vote before the City Council. We would need 8 City Councilors to vote yes for the CSA to be law. And if Mayor Elorza vetoes it, then we would need 10 City Councilors to vote yes.

Providence Community, this is our time. We must show up stronger than ever and demand our protection. Pass the CSA!

The Ordinance Committee hearing will be at 5.15pm Monday, November 28th. The City Council meeting will be December 1st at 7pm. Both will take place on the 3rd floor of City Hall.

For more info, contact vanessa@prysm.us.

In Solidarity,

The STEP UP Committee.

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