The Coalition Against Police Crimes & Repression is asking one focused question, “What does public safety mean to you?” As a member of CAPCR, OBS has been active in CAPCR’s campaign to “Re-envision Public Safety.” Our goal is to change not just the narrative that public safety equates with police presence but to shatter the arrest-and-incarceration model that sucks up nearly 60% of the city’s revenue.To redefine public safety, we must steer away from typical stereotypes of increased surveillance and more police in our neighborhoods. These methods are not working for communities.
Community residents were asked to go deeper beyond policing and surveillance and to think about how to use our tax dollars differently. What we found is that when given a new way of thinking about public safety, residents became very creative and practical. Citizens realize that we have allowed city government to determine how we live and for police—if we live. The campaign has empowered citizens to think about how to participate in the city budgeting process and to chart their own destiny. Re-envision! Re-invest!