By: Diane Benjamin
Citizens deserve to know what’s happening in their city. This post is meant to inform voters. Is BLM trying to run the Bloomington police force themselves? You decide. Why Bloomington and not Normal?
The proposals below were created by the local Black Lives Matter movement. You can see the entire document that explains each proposal here: BLM Police Platform
Note: The local group is following much of what the National BLM movement is demanding: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision
A survey was sent to all Bloomington candidates and members of the City Council by BLM, then a followup email was sent:
Dear Mayor, Council Members and Candidates,
Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal members are encouraged by those of you who took the time to respond to our community policing public policy survey. We appreciate your consideration of the concerns and proposals of your constituents and want to sincerely thank you for participating.
Those who responded include: Mayor Tari Renner, Jamie Mathy, Susan Feldkam, Bob Clay, Gary Lambert, Mboka Mwilambwe, Joni Painter, Sonny Garcia, Scott Black, Diana Hauman, Sheheryar Muftee and Jim Fruin. Stating your positions on these policies is important, as it demonstrates your willingness to listen and take action on the issues that matter to members of your community. In the coming weeks, we would like to schedule time to speak with each of you individually regarding the positions you have expressed, to address any outstanding questions and to start planning how proposals can best be implemented. Members of our group will be reaching out to you shortly to begin the scheduling process.
The following electeds and candidates did not respond to the survey: Kevin Lower, David Sage, J Balmer, Amelia Buragas, Lupe Diaz, Karen Schmidt and Ian Bayne.
We are disappointed in those of you who refused to consider the valid concerns and proposed solutions put forth by those you claim to represent. Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal members are still willing to meet with you to discuss your concerns, but we will leave it up to you to initiate the scheduling of those meetings with us.
Know that if you are not willing to have these discussions in private, we will address them at your open houses, city council meetings and other campaign events this year and next, until we, the people in your voting districts, are satisfied with a response.
In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ‘In the end, we remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’
If you are not willing to stand up for your community on these issues, don’t expect your community to stand for you in the ballot box.
Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal
I’d demand this group publicly denounce the following before any discussions:
Hands Up Don’t Shoot – it never happened
Pigs in a Blanket, fry em like bacon – chanted by BLM members
Shootings of any police officer