The ACLU-DC is partnering with Stop Police Terror DC to cohost a training that will equip you with the knowledge and skills to hold our DC elected officials to their word of fully implementing the NEAR Act, to move away from the failed approach of policing and incarceration, and to make DC an example for a better way to prevent and reduce violence while empowering and uplifting all of its residents.
WHAT IS THE NEAR ACT?
The NEAR (Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results) Act establishes a set of long-term programs and policies to address public safety in DC specifically through a public health lens. These programs and policies have been empirically proven to reduce shootings and violence in cities around the US.
In its fullest form, the NEAR Act would begin to de-emphasize the use of policing and force as the primary tactic for ensuring neighborhood safety in DC. It would protect vulnerable and minority (namely Black and Latino/a/x) residents in high-crime areas of our city from further harm. It would support individuals involved in potentially violent situations instead of turning to incarceration or violence to resolve the issue at hand. The policy would thus pave the way for the long-overdue transformation of these vulnerable populations and neighborhoods towards a deeper culture of safety, support, and opportunity.
WHY WE NEED YOU NOW:
After passing the DC Council unanimously in 2016, and being fully-funded in 2017, the NEAR Act is now in its next phase: implementation. Despite being fully-funded, most of the provisions in the NEAR Act have not been implemented. As such, the NEAR Act remains largely unfulfilled as promised in 2016.
In order for the NEAR Act to reach its full potential, it is going to require us as DC residents to make sure our elected officials fully and faithfully implement all of the comprehensive approaches in the NEAR Act. To do so, we want to create a corps of “NEAR Act Ambassadors” to show up to DC Council hearings, community events, ANC meetings, and candidate fundraisers and campaign events. In doing so, we have an opportunity to hold DC Council to their word and to begin the process of protecting the most vulnerable neighborhoods in our city from further violence with a better approach.
This free training will provide interested individuals the skills and knowledge they need to be NEAR Act Ambassadors, to let our elected officials know that the NEAR Act is still alive in our minds as a priority for our city. Through this training, you will gain the knowledge and skills to mobilize your local neighborhoods/networks to show up to these events prepared to pressure our elected officials towards full implementation of the NEAR Act.