Advocates Urge Metro to Reimagine Public Safety Starting at Tomorrow’s Board Meeting
The Alliance for Community Transit (ACT-LA) has posted an emergency email alert asking the public to email the Metro board in support of motions that would shift transit security resources away from police to unarmed responses. ACT-LA are “calling on Metro to divest from its police budget and reinvest funds into our communities through free fares, improved bus infrastructure and service, and neighborhood stability programs.”
TOMORROW! @metrolosangeles is voting on creating an advisory committee to reshape the scope of its policing budget & reallocate police funds to invest in alternative community safety measure. Follow link to TAKE ACTION: https://t.co/og2EzGqdQ8 #DefundThePolice #PeoplesTransit pic.twitter.com/3tlSrKVwOz
— Community Power Collective (@CPColectivo) June 24, 2020
The Metro board will meet tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. The meeting agenda includes four motions aimed at retooling Metro’s problematic current transit safety approach. Three of the four were authored by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, who stated that “Metro needs to be at the forefront of that, and make changes that assure that all of its passengers feel safe. That starts by acknowledging that we cannot rely on an armed police presence for every issue, and we need smarter, more effective solutions.”
In an editorial last week at Streetsblog, ACT-LA explored some of the alternatives to having police enforce situations like homelessness. ACT-LA wrote:
Spending nearly a billion dollars on policing has come at the expense of transit infrastructure and service improvements, but more importantly, youth, Black and Latinx riders who make up Metro’s core riders have reported feeling less safe and secure due to increased police. Greater police presence on Metro has resulted in racial profiling, criminalization of poverty and often makes transit riders of color feel uneasy.