DEFUND THE POLICE!
Hope 24/7 as an organization stands firmly in solidarity with BIPOC folx and communities calling to defund the police. While public objection has recently reached new heights, we want to acknowledge that BIPOC folx and their allies have been engaged in this conversation and fight for many years prior. Police brutality is not new, nor are systems of discrimination, but we can not allow it to continue.
As an organization, we recognize that both historically and presently folx belonging to marginalized communities have continued to face systemic discrimination, violence, injustice, displacement, othering, over-surveillance, villification and residual effects of colonialism. While we maintain our fight for our marginalized communities, Hope 24/7 recognizes that as actors within these systems, we have also contributed to these realities. Hope 24/7 has
heard our community and we have committed to actively dismantling forms of oppression both within our organization and externally. We are calling for other institutional players to do thesame -- especially the police, whose direct actions have caused unimaginable death and suffering within our communities.
We stand in solidarity with calls for defunding because we know that there are safer alternatives to policing. We know that our current system is ineffective and that this inadequacy has cost us countless lives from BIPOC communities. We believe that failure to acknowledge or conceptualize those more efficient systems, while BIPOC people are dying for avoidable situations, is negligence. We have seen deescalation efforts executed by CAHOOTS and the Gerstein Crisis Centre. We have seen Denver, San Francisco and Minneapolis successfully move towards defunding. Defunding is possible; alternatives are available and better outcomes are necessary. We stand in solidarity because we believe being a BIPOC individual in crisis should not be a death sentence.
At this time Hope 24/7 recognizes that in our current system, the police still have a role to play; however that role is not in public health matters and non-violent crises. Therefore, we are advocating for real accountability, additional policies to maintain the safety of our BIPOC communities during police interventions and the complete reallocation of all funds allotted to the police for non-criminal interventions, specifically mental health and IPV, to the community and social service agencies equipped to manage them as safely as possible.
Hope 24/7 is in the process of creating a collective of social service organizations and are looking to recruit other like-minded organizations within the Region of Peel that are committed to the reimagining of public safety and to tackling systemic discrimination and racisim. If you’re interested, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Peel Regional Budget
With costs on the rise here in Ontario, It’s important that people in our communities understand where their money is being allocated. The citizens and residents of our cities, should retain an inherent right to collectively govern the decisions regarding categorical services provided by institutions of our region.
The Region of Peel 2021 Operational budget has been increased from the year before, as a result of the approved net tax levy increase of 2.5 per cent or an overall property tax increase of 1.02 per cent to the taxpayers. As well as a utility rate increase of 5.5 per cent.
CITIZENS ARE PAYING MORE. THEY SHOULD EXPECT MORE IN RETURN
The following excerpt from the survey demonstrates that MORE THAN HALF of organizations that serve the community are facing immediate adversities; “Immediate Concerns: The survey demonstrated that 57% of surveyed organizations are facing immediate program closures and 19% of the organizations are converting to online and phone program delivery. Of agencies responding, 11% expressed they don’t know what their immediate impacts and are just finding out on a day-to-day basis.”
(Region of Peel 2020)
What can we do?
Revised and Additional Services are needed for Mental Health in our Community. Racism and discrimination against the BIPOC population,
has been a proven cause of a plethora of mental health issues in our communities.
Reassignment of funding as well as emergency response tasks is absolutely necessary in a society that has collectively recognized the failure on part of Police forces everywhere to productively and progressively react to mental health issues, gender based violence and intimate partner violence.
We know that their involvement in these specific areas of crises often increases the risk of potential violence and eventual criminalization of people who simply need help.