This month in Texas, supporters joined a kick-off campaign rally held by Re-Imagining Safety for Everyone in Houston (“RISE Houston”).
RISE Houston is a new grassroots coalition whose goal is to stop police violence and demand that local tax dollars be spent on community programs that make Houstonians safe. The coalition is led by Pure Justice (PJ), Houston Abolitionist Collective (HAC), Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) and Civil Rights Corps (CRC). The campaign also touts endorsements by BLM HTX, Engaged Voters, Houston Leads Coalition, Houston in Action, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, West Street Recovery, and Young Invincibles.
RoShawn Evans, the Co-Founder and Organizing Director of PJ, shared the vision for the campaign, “We envision a Houston where everyone has the tools and resources they need to strive and thrive in their homes and communities.”
The RISE campaign demands include: ending the City’s $3.5 million contract with ShotSpotter, Inc., prohibiting police from making stops for minor traffic violations; and freezing HPD’s budget and using taxpayer money to invest in communities.
A recent survey conducted by Pure Justice of over 400 residents found that 60.2% of those surveyed said that they did not believe there was a need for more law enforcement officers to make their communities safe.
“In 2020, despite a rise in funding for HPD, the homicide rate increased. It is clear that policing is not the answer to reducing violence. Instead, the City of Houston needs to invest in programs that get to the root causes of violence by funding programs that truly provide for the safety and welfare of all Houstonians,” said Brittany Francis, a Deputy Director of Litigation at the Civil Rights Corps.
Attendees were also asked to share what programs they wanted to see funded in the City of Houston, which included grocery stores, fair chance housing, and a fair minimum wage.
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