SAAS strongly condemns the police brutalization of Black communities, Indigenous communities, and People of Color. We stand with Black Lives Matter. We stand with BLM’s demand for local governments to defund the police and reinvest in disadvantaged communities. We demand investment in our communities and the resources to ensure POC not only survive but thrive. Investments that are needed include affordable housing, healthcare, mental health services, homeless services, workforce development, food, youth services, quality education and access to childcare.
SAAS is a coalition of working-class people of color who are passionate about mobility justice. We believe that safe streets mean any person of color can walk, skate, or bicycle from point A to point B without discrimination, racial profiling or unlawful stops by police. It is our responsibility to respond to the calls of action from Black Lives Matter Movement. It is our call to keep the streets safe.
Our members have been using their privilege to uplift Black voices. Some are joining our community in the streets. Some are having tough conversations with our non-Black family and friends. Some are challenging their employment centers to respond to the calls of actions from Black organizers. Through this, we have grown stronger as we reflect on our coalition work.
Our reflections extend into our program funding and community partnerships. SAAS was formed with great energy to question transportation implementation and that energy has been paused. Certain grant funds inevitably led to us losing our route. Some of our funded projects provided space to lead community-driven outreach and engagement. Other funded projects have asked to seek partnerships with the police to help educate our community on active transportation safety. SAAS has made compromises in hopes of keeping our streets safe. We have had some failures and many learning lessons.
SAAS is intentionally looking at ways to diversify our funding to be able to focus on organizing and people-powered action. We have discussed revising our program values and restructuring our leadership model and continue to educate ourselves.
Our streets demand life! We hear you, we see you, in the streets, alive. We ask the City of Santa Ana to begin the systematic defunding and repurposing of police funds directly back to the community. We demand a systematic change so there can be safer streets for all.
Santa Ana Active Streets Leadership Committee