Stand with the Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ) as we send a clear message to Congress: Childcare is essential. In partnership with Community Change Action, we’re calling on the U.S. Senate to prioritize equitable funding to childcare in the next COVID-19 relief package.
Since the start of the pandemic, the federal government has allocated more than $500 billion to bail out big businesses, and only $3.5 billion to support childcare for families. The U.S. childcare sector needs $10 billion each month in order to recover and help parents get back to work — otherwise we could permanently lose 4.5 million childcare slots that our families depend on.
Hear from an early childhood development expert and WCRJ supporter on why child care is essential to our children, families, workforce, and communities:
Last week, hundreds of WCRJ members and allies came together to participate in the Safety and Liberation Week of Action. By committing to a series of daily mobilizations, WCRJ’s broad base of individual supporters demonstrated the collective power of our community. United behind a shared vision of Black Liberation, we amplified our demands to end anti-Black systems of police abuse and mass incarceration and reinvest public dollars in programs that promote safety, equity, and opportunity for all.
We kicked off the week by convening WCRJ leaders, local residents, and elected officials - including Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx - for our annual Forum for Safety and Liberation. Through this virtual event, which reached more than two thousand online viewers, WCRJ invited the community to reimagine what true neighborhood safety could look like, free of racialized police terror.
Later in the week, hundreds of local community members took part in WCRJ's online advocacy actions and social media campaigns. In total, we mobilized 225 tweets and 8,963 emails to state and local lawmakers, demanding their support on legislation that would dismantle the racialized police and prison state, and promote a more equitable and humane system of public investment.
On Friday, we mounted a powerful direct action at City Hall, calling on Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago City Council to adopt WCRJ’s proposal for equitable public safety reinvestment.
We extend our deep gratitude to all of our supporters who stood with us throughout the week of action. Your solidarity and commitment is essential to achieving our collective vision of universal safety and liberation.
Updated: Jun 24, 2020
This year, as the historic mass uprising for Black Liberation commands national attention, the occasion of Juneteenth assumes a particularly momentous significance. As we honor the determination, sacrifice, and vision set forth by Black freedom fighters of generations past, we are also mindful of the tremendous work that lies ahead in the struggle for true emancipation from the tyranny of white supremacy.
To commemorate the spirit of Juneteenth, the Workers Center for Racial Justice has released a policy platform for Safety and Liberation.
For nearly a decade, WCRJ has invited local community members impacted by racialized police violence to come together and collectively reimagine what real public safety could look like in our own neighborhoods, on our own terms. These powerful conversations have served as the foundation for WCRJ's Safety and Liberation platform, through which we aim to amplify grassroots demands to end anti-Black police brutality and reinvest public resources in systems that foster universal equity and justice.
WCRJ’s platform for Safety and Liberation advocates the following state and city level policies:
Withdraw taxpayer funding from the Chicago Police Department and equitably invest in more effective public safety services. Significantly scale back operational spending on local law enforcement and reduce the police force commensurately. Replace dispatch officers with on-call city professionals - including social workers, mental health providers, human services employees, and mediators - who are better equipped to address public safety emergencies. Abolish private policing agencies.
Prohibit police unions from engaging in any collective bargaining activities outside of wage and benefit negotiations. Police union contracts have historically shielded officers from accountability for their actions, even in cases of racialized harassment, brutality, and murder. Such agreements serve as a driving force of police violence, by emboldening officers to exceed the limits of their power with the explicit assurance of impunity.
Establish a democratically elected police board to govern the Chicago Police Department. This entity will hold the exclusive authority to hire senior officers, investigate reports of police misconduct, discipline and terminate officers who are found guilty of wrongdoing, and determine department budgets and rules.