I admire Campaign Zero. Here’s how I would augment it

It’s been obvious for a while now that the Black Lives Matter movement would benefit from a concrete policy agenda around which it could focus its organizing, public protest, and practical negotiations with public officials. Developing such an agenda is no easy task — especially for a grassroots movement that basically came into existence a year ago.Black Lives Matter took an admirable step forward on this front, however, thanks to the new Campaign Zero documents released Friday, co-authored by a group including DeRay Mckesson and Johnetta Elzie (a.k.a. “Netta”), two of the movement’s leading activists.

Jesse Singal, over at New York‘s Science of Us, asked for my thoughts on their recommendations to reduce police violence. I admired their well-crafted and specific proposals. I hope in their future work that they will layer on a more positive vision of urban policing and link their efforts to an active public safety agenda.

More on how they might do that, here.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

3 thoughts on “I admire Campaign Zero. Here’s how I would augment it”

  1. A striking contrast with Occupy Wall Street, which never got round to a list of concrete, actionable demands.

  2. None of your recommendations address (except perhaps obliquely) the real problem, which is the weakness/failure/collapse/abdication/rejection of institutions. They all assume that competent and conscientious institutions are in place that somehow, hitherto, have simply not been applied to this problem and that therefore all that is required is to apply them. But the institutions are no longer competent, never were conscientious, and no longer have the support of any effective constituency. Now go back to the drawing board and see can you come up with something that reflects reality.

    1. While you're busy plotting revolution, the rest of us will be over here at least trying to make things better on the margin.

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