Reimagining Safety & Justice

The Current Reality

Our current punitive systems of public safety are failing us — this is the unified message that millions across the country and globe took to the streets to convey in 2020, following the murder of George Floyd. Our heavy reliance on police departments and the carceral system to keep us safe has failed to make our communities any safer, and only created the world’s largest prison population. Americans make up 5 percent of the world’s population, but the U.S. has one-quarter of the world’s prisoners. Our current criminal justice system puts an ever-growing burden on taxpayers and exacts a tremendous social cost on our communities, particularly BIPOC and lower-income communities. 

Law enforcement has historically targeted Black and Latine people disproportionately and continues to do so today. We see examples of this from the LAPD using improper force at peaceful protests, shooting people in mental distress, and LA sheriff’s deputies profiling Black and Latine bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians. All too often, police escalate violence instead of de-escalating situations they enter. The 2020 Police Violence Report showed that most killings by police occurred after officers responded to nonviolent offenses or cases where no crime was reported. Over 900 people have been shot by police in 2021.  

Los Angeles shamefully has the largest jail system in the United States. Those trapped in our criminal justice system face a cycle of over-policing, dehumanizing incarceration, fines, asset forfeiture, lack of rehabilitation services, housing and employment discrimination, and disenfranchisement. It’s no wonder that 62% of California’s inmates released in 2018 were assessed as being at-risk for recidivism. 

In order to create the safe and healthy communities we want, we must effectively address the root causes of crime — poverty, untreated mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness, a failing education system, and a growing divide between the haves and the have-nots – by investing in our communities, implementing crisis response systems that are proven to be effective, and reforming criminal laws that disproportionately impact marginalized communities. Through the establishment of systems of care that address the fundamental needs of our communities, we can begin to heal and transform our communities.

What Needs To Be Done

Our Priorities

  • Address the root causes of crime by creating more living-wage jobs, funding job training for the 21st-century economy, increasing housing stability, and establishing systems of mental health care and drug rehabilitation.
  • Expand and fund health-centered alternatives to policing to respond more appropriately to community needs such as unarmed crisis response to respond to calls relating to mental health crises, substance abuse, homelessness, and non-emergency medical situations. 
  • Demilitarize police and establish nationwide use of force standards. 
  • Increase police accountability and transparency to counter their ability to violate human rights.
  • End mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • Ban forced prison labor.
  • Decriminalize consensual crimes such as drug use and sex work. 
  • Step up the fight against human trafficking. 
  • Provide survivor-led support to survivors of crimes.

How We Plan to Do It

Reimagine Public Safety

  • Advocate for states’ reduction of funding for police departments and reallocation resources towards much-needed community-led safety strategies in communities most impacted by mass incarceration, over-policing, and crime.
  • Increase funding of community-based services in mental health, reentry, harm reduction, and crime prevention, by passing legislation like Rep. Cori Bush’s People’s Response Act
  • Increase funding for state, local, and tribal non-police crisis response systems, like Eugene, Oregon’s CAHOOTS program, which dispatches medical specialists rather than the police to 911 calls related to addiction, mental health crises, and homelessness.
  • End the failed war on drugs by shifting to strategies based on treatment and harm reduction
  • Eliminate mandatory minimums at the federal level to follow California state law
  • Get rid of three-strikes laws.
  • Ban no-knock raids.
  • Limit the use of artificial intelligence and surveillance by law enforcement.
  • Encourage the demilitarization of the police by eliminating the 1033 Program to prohibit the transfer of all military-grade weapons to state and local law enforcement agencies. 
  • Repeal civil asset forfeiture, which is routinely used to arbitrarily separate citizens from property without regard for due process.
  • Decriminalize consensual sex work and repeal SESTA/FOSTA.

Healing our Communities

  • Prohibit profiling by law enforcement and intelligence agencies based on race, religion, or national origin by enacting bills such as End Racial and Religious Profiling Act. 
  • Provide federal support for local initiatives such as Black Student Achievement Plan to deliver much-needed services such as education. 
  • Replace school police programs with more proven effective counseling by supporting the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act.
  • Legalize cannabis and vacate cannabis convictions by supporting bills like the MORE Act
  • Decriminalize personal use and possession of drugs, seal past records of drug convictions, and allow those with drug possession convictions to access life-saving federal benefits such as food and housing assistance by supporting the Drug Policy Reform Act.
  • Build a survivor-led support system for those who have been victims of domestic abuse, human trafficking, and police and prison violence by working with organizations already doing work in these spaces.

End Mass Incarceration

Police Accountability

  • End qualified immunity for law enforcement officers and government officials.
  • Amend 18 U.S.C. § 242, a provision of the federal criminal code, to lower the burden of proof where civil rights may have been violated that can help federal prosecutors hold law enforcement officers accountable for wrongful acts. 
  • Combat the infiltration of white supremacist groups into police departments.
  • Establish national use-of-force standards, such as banning carotid holds and limiting the use of less-lethal weapons against protesters.
  • Create a national police misconduct registry.

What This Will Do For Us

What’s clear is that our current approach to public safety is failing us. By shifting to proven community-led safety strategies, police demilitarization, robust mental health and rehabilitative services and more, we can establish a comprehensive system of human-centered care that addresses root causes of crime. We can then begin to heal our communities, families, and people from the harm of a system that tears loved ones and families apart in the name of justice and order. I’m running for Congress because it’s clear that the status quo isn’t working. Our punitive systems of public safety are failing to keep us all safe and far too often disproportionately punish those who need community support and wrap-around social services. It’s time we make our neighbors and families truly safe by putting us first, together.


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