September 24, 2021 NF Legislative Roundup: Disproportionate Policing

Traditional policing is disproportionate, antiquated, and often does more harm than good. Here’s some recent news on the issue!

California

  • Los Angeles Protest Ordinance
    • Why we’re watching: This week, the Los Angeles City Council gave final approval to an ordinance creating a 300-foot buffer between private residences and protests. Their action is supposedly in response to protests on both sides of the aisle, but a just application of the new law remains to be seen. 

Federal

  • People’s Response Act
    • Why we’re watching: We’re big fans of Rep. Cori Bush. This bill, now supported by Ben & Jerry’s calls for a health-centered approach to policing. In addition to divesting from traditional models of law enforcement, Rep. Bush has called for investing in community-minded policing as a means of combatting the effects of systemic and institutional racism.

Maryland

  • HB1312
    • Why we’re watching: During Maryland’s 2021 legislative session, Del. Jheanelle K. Wilkins spearheaded HB1312, which required landlords to provide a “just cause” when evicting a tenant. Unfortunately, the bill was gutted in committee and did not pass. This week, however, gubernatorial candidates praised the bill, hopefully signaling some new momentum to pass housing reform.

Missouri

  • Statement on Downtown Public Safety
    • Why we’re watching: St. Louis mayor Tishuara O. Jones once promised to reject the policing status quo. Recently, however, she announced a plan to increase downtown police patrols. A number of social justice groups have pointed out the walk-back and that these reforms won’t do much besides reinforce the disproportionate, negative impact that police have on the lives on Black and Brown citizens.

Pennsylvania

  • Prison Gerrymandering
    • Why we’re watching: Last month, a Pennsylvania commission voted to count their state’s 40,000 prisoners as residents of their home addresses rather than of the prison’s physical location. Now, the state is rolling back that decision in a huge blow to a promising solution to prison gerrymandering, which gives disproportionate political power to wealthier areas with prison construction.

What do you think of the bills in this week’s legislative roundup? Did we miss anything? Drop us a line on any of our social channels or hit us up through our contact us form. Let us know what’s happening in YOUR neighborhood!

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