Today, a group of 11 organizations sent a letter to members of Columbus City Council and Mayor Ginther urging them to deliver on their promise to reimagine safety in the city of Columbus.
The letter reads in part: “Police brutality is a reproductive freedom, reproductive justice, and LGBTQIA+ issue. At a time when the maternal mortality rate for Black pregnant women is three to four times that of white women, when the infant mortality rate for Black babies is 2.5 to 3 times that of white babies in Franklin County, and when Black transgender people report much higher rates of biased harassment and assault from police – the City of Columbus has yet to effectively decrease the law enforcement budget or pass policies to demilitarize the Columbus Division of Police, which inflicts violence and trauma upon these communities daily. In addition to the urgency of prohibiting the use of lethal, militarized police tactics, the City of Columbus should reallocate money from the overfunded police budget to city initiatives focused on addressing equitable housing, affordable, and comprehensive health care services, and programs to reduce Black infant and maternal mortality and morbidity.”
The group is requesting an exact timeline in which City Council will reconsider and pass the ordinance introduced by Council President Pro Tempore Elizabeth Brown to demilitarize the Columbus Police Department. This ordinance was tabled indefinitely by at 4-3 vote during the council meeting on Monday September 14, 2020.
The group additionally calls on Mayor Andrew Ginther to provide a statement explaining his administration’s position on the vote.
The 11 organizations signing onto the letter are:
- ACLU of Ohio
- Black, Out & Proud
- Equality Ohio
- Kaleidoscope Youth Center
- NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
- Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
- Ohio Women’s Alliance
- Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio
- Queer Partnership for Black Liberation
- URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity
- Women Have Options – Ohio