Open letter to Elk Grove elected leadership - Actionable items that the city can do right now on racism

Messages posted on one of Elk Grove's NextDoor forums'. | 

Posted with permission from Elk Grove resident Shaina Ghuraya | 

Hello Mayor Steve Ly and the City of Elk Grove - City Hall,
My name is Shaina Ghuraya and I have lived in Elk Grove for most of my life and grown up here.
It's important for me as a human being to support the black community right now which is why I do not shy away from supporting and being vocal about the Black Lives Matter movement. However, I have noticed that there has been no clear alliance from the city of Elk Grove in support of this movement on social media, which shocks me.
Yes we have made great strides in the community and are continuing to, but we can and should do better.
Nowhere in Chief Albright's address does he specifically acknowledge the black community. I want to know why. Why did you not talk about the systemic, racial injustices carried out and perpetuated by the police? How will you try to do better and be better? Because I know you have the best intentions for our city.
This is not a political issue, it is a HUMAN RIGHTS issue. And the fact that you are posting pictures of the Elk Grove PD remaining vigilant during this time without stating that you are allied with Black Lives Matter is not okay. It is not enough to not be racist, we must be anti-racist.
And trust me, as a person of color living in Elk Grove, racism is prevalent. Just take a look at any NextDoor neighborhood posting. It won't be long before you come across a racist post. There are two examples at the bottom of this message, (it only took me 2 minutes to find them).
But instead of just criticizing, I want to provide actual actionable items that the city can do right now to be an ally and help bring about reform.
1. Go on, make that move and post #blacklivesmatter. You can do it, and you will see a flood of support come in from the entire community. There will be a vocal small faction who think this is radical, but again, being a supporter of the black community is not a political issue. By keeping silent you are doing more harm than good. This is a moment in our history that we will all be judged upon. Be on the moral side.
2. What are you going to do to change the perception of the Elk Grove PD, because even though it might seem like people are in support of them, there are a large number of citizens who have to think twice about calling the police. What outreach is the Elk Grove Police Department going to do in the community to be anti-racist and serve as a model for the citizens? What training have they undergone to be culturally competent, and can they impart that to the citizens in hopes of combating racism? A lot of our citizens look up to the EG PD, and if you voice your support for Black Lives Matter it would be a huge step towards a more inclusive community. I understand great improvements have already been made and I commend the city for that, but more can always be done, we need to continually be working to be better.
3. Take the pledge, do it, implement it, and make our community better for everyone.

I want to be clear, what I have just proposed is not radical. These are baby steps towards a more inclusive and a more just community. We can't change everyone, but we can AT LEAST try to educate.
I look forward to voicing these concerns in person.
(Again, below are the racist messages that were all too easy to find, I can provide more if necessary).

Copyright by Shaina Ghuraya  © 2020. All right reserved.


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