Washington, D.C. – National League of Cities (NLC) CEO and Executive Director Clarence Anthony issued the following statement on the anniversary of the death of George Floyd:
“This is an anniversary that needs more than words from each of us. The murder of George Floyd one year ago woke many Americans up to the needless suffering and death that Black Americans are facing every day at the hands of law enforcement who are responsible for protecting our communities. We owe it to those who have been taken from us, and to ourselves, to use this day as one to hold ourselves accountable. It should be a goal that we have a safe community for all, a place you feel protected and a place that you can call home.
“We are seeing signs of hope that real change is possible. I am proud of the progress being made as part of NLC’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, which is convening local leaders from across the country to share learnings from their own communities and develop actionable steps for municipal leaders on a host of issues related to public safety, including alternative and innovative responses, violence prevention and reduction, jail use reduction, law enforcement reform and accountability, public safety budgets and most importantly, racial equity and community engagement.
“While listening and opening up real lines of communication does not always feel like meaningful action, the critical conversations happening from big cities to small towns across America are leading to substantive and innovative changes to how we address the systemic inequities in public safety that have persisted for generations. We have a long road ahead of us but these are fundamental elements of lasting reform.
“To my fellow local leaders, I urge you to take today to listen closely to your residents. Hear their stories, their losses, and their dreams. Allow them space to grieve, and work with them to make change that will save lives. Each of us has a responsibility to convert those words into actions, legislation and policies that will make all of us safer, regardless of the color of our skin.”
For resources on how state and local governments can reimagine public safety and justice reform, please click here.
For information on NLC’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, please click here.