Reimagining Safety needs our support!

Ruth Yarrow

Dear All,  This is from Marcia Fort, the long-term deeply respected head of GIAC and racial justice leader in Ithaca.  Please write to the Common Council and acting Mayor (on the city website you can click on "email" for each and their address will pop up).  An effort led by people of color to address the serious distrust of IPD is being attacked.  Thanks for your attention.  Ruth

From: Marcia Fort <fortmarcia@...>
Date: Sun, May 1, 2022 at 1:34 PM
Subject: Responses To Brock Indictment

Warm Greetings All,
I'm emailing to ask you all to please consider writing a response to pushback against Cynthia Brock's indictment of the Reimagining process and by extension the people of color involved in the process. I plan to email Council and to send something to the Ithaca Times as well. Please consider sending before the end of this coming week.

The tactic being used is a familiar one; attempt to discredit and blame the people of color. I strongly feel there must be support for all the people of color being tainted by these false and malicious accusations. And pushback against the attempt to discredit and end the Reimagining process.

While, I only sent this to a small select group, please think of folks you know and trust to also ask to pushback against these racist stereotypes and notions.

Talking points to consider:

Not the first time the city has requested and received grant funds to help with a variety of projects. I'd bet there are city departments that are currently utilizing grant funds to help them achieve their goals. And the City leadership including Council members, have certainly touted the good results and success of projects. HETP, CDL Training Program, Summer Leagues, etc..

Not the first time the City has utilized the services of other agencies to assist them meet goals. And utilized them free of charge. One example: The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Dept, at the request of the Mayor and the then TC Human Rights Director, came to Ithaca and led trainings for community members and IPD officers and leadership, in an attempt to relieve tensions and distrust. 

For those that may not know, all of the folks the accusations and innuendos are being made about are all people of color, majority Black and Latino.

Similar to the hearings for the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the noises being made now are to distract from the larger issue. The PBA and IPD leadership have made it clear they do not want a process that has civilian involvement, particularly civilian oversite, with anything related to IPD. These newly named issues are a tactic to stop the process.

With the exception of the community folks, everyone else was getting paid for their time and input. In the case of the IPD representatives most if not all would have received overtime, because the meetings would be outside of their regular hours and or outside of their regular duties.

Some privileged members of Council are looking out for the privileged police officers with power and authority, and not for the best interests of the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect.

Some members of Council are not asking the question of IPD officers why from the very beginning some officers have been negative about the process and engaging in untruths, like IPD officers will lose their jobs.

Council and the Mayor signed on to the charge from the Governor's office and as soon as the first heat was directed at them by IPD there went Council's commitment to reimagine anything. 

Please, consider sending a statement, and as soon as you can. One sentence or 50! Council and the community need to know there are eyes watching and ready to hold them accountable. Karen, Eric, Schelley, and all the folks of color who took a chance and gave large amounts of their time to help with a process that might have made Ithaca a better place for them and their children, have become the targets. We cannot let the words of Cynthia Brock and the other members who are backing her, particularly George M and the 5th Ward man, stand alone with no challenge, no ACTION!

Thanks for letting me share.