RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE REIMAGINE TROY COMMUNITY JUSTICE SERVICES WORK GROUP IN SUPPORT OF THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT
WHEREAS, the senseless murders of George Floyd and many other people of color have focused our nation’s attention on the structural and systemic racism throughout our culture; and
WHEREAS, the Black Lives Matter Movement has unified people in rallies throughout our country by calling for an end to injustices in a criminal justice system that unfairly targets Black people and people of color; and
WHEREAS, on June 7, 2020, an estimated 11,000 people attended a Rally for Black Lives in Troy, demonstrating peacefully for an end to racism and supporting systemic reforms; and
WHEREAS, through “Say Their Names” legislation and Executive Order 203, New York State has begun to address inequalities and to reimagine the State’s criminal justice system; and
WHEREAS, the Troy City Council acknowledges painfully that racism has permeated our society for hundreds of years, marginalizing, discriminating against, and harming Black people and all people of color, and adversely affecting their opportunities for education, housing, employment, healthcare, and other necessities of civil life; and
WHEREAS, the Troy City Council believes in individual liberties, civil rights, human rights, and voting rights, and considers it our duty to defend democracy and oppose threats to Constitutional rights; and
WHEREAS, as societal ills have increased, additional duties and responsibilities have been placed upon police and public safety officials, sometimes straining the relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Troy City Council hereby advocates against racism and reaffirms these truths to be self-evident: that Black, Indigenous and all people of color (BIPOC) deserve equal protection under the law; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Troy City Council pledges to seek solutions for the terrible wrongs done, so that regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation, we may truly become a nation “indivisible with liberty and justice for all”; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Troy City Council, in support of the Mayor’s implementation of Executive Order 203, does hereby pledge to facilitate community conversations with key stakeholders and citizens as we reimagine and reexamine our system of justice and policing in the City of Troy; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Troy City Council does hereby create the Reimagine Troy Community Justice Services Work Group, to be assembled by the Council’s Public Safety Committee and to be comprised of community leaders, clergy, police and public safety professionals, representatives of businesses and nonprofit organizations, and others; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Work Group shall consist of nine (9) members who must be residents of the City of Troy and who will be chosen by the members of the Public Safety Committee within thirty (30) days of the passage of this legislation from among those who shall have submitted letters and resumes. The terms of Work Group members shall conclude on April 1, 2021, but may be extended by a vote of the City Council. The Chair of the Public Safety Committee or her designee shall serve as the convenor of the Work Group and as a nonvoting member in addition to the nine members. The Work Group shall determine its Chairperson. The Work Group shall begin its proceedings by September 1, 2020, thereafter meeting at least weekly. A report of the Work Group’s recommendations will be presented to the Mayor and the City Council on or before February 1, 2021; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Reimagine Troy Community Justice Services Work Group shall hold listening forums and meet with stakeholders to gather public opinion, to research best practices in policing, and to develop policy recommendations that will assist the Mayor in identifying the needs of the communities served by the Troy Police Department, and that will promote trust, fairness, and legitimacy in law enforcement, by addressing racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color, all as required by Executive Order 203; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Clerk is hereby directed to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand; U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko; N.Y.S. Senators Neil Breslin and Daphne Jordan; N.Y.S. Assembly Members John McDonald and Jacob Ashby; and N.Y.S. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.