NEW ORLEANS - Following the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Amaud Arbery, cities nationwide are coming to terms with necessary systemic reforms to decrease opportunities for police violence against people of color.
Councilmember Williams, Chair of the City Council's Criminal Justice Committee, believes such reforms should be identified with input from those voices often left out of government decision-making. As a key step in furtherance of this, Councilmember Williams proposes the creation of an advisory committee charged with examining the allocation of City resources across the entirety of our justice system to make recommendations on investments and associated policy priorities.
The advisory committee's membership would be limited to those with experience assisting historically marginalized groups to navigate the justice system and advocating for justice system reforms to eliminate institutional racism.
"Horrifying deaths such as what we witnessed with George Floyd painfully highlight the failures of government to equitably serve and protect its residents," said Councilmember Williams. "Justice system actors frequently weigh in on the resources needed to police the community, but we rarely ask the communities most heavily policed for their input. This citizen's advisory committee would help ensure those hidden voices are considered as we look to broad systemic reforms."
Councilmember Williams envisions the panel providing thoughtful, peer-review supported guidance on the allocation of discretionary justice system funding as well as solutions outside of law enforcement to help support community needs.
"Those voices in the street demanding justice and accountability are far too valuable to making our system fair and equitable to be relegated to simply 2 minutes each of public comment at council meetings," he continued.