2023 Mayor Platform
The Justice & Safety Alliance aims to create a holistic Mayor’s office that is equitable, transparent, and accountable to all Memphis residents. What Memphis has been doing to address public safety isn’t working – we cannot police our way to a safer city. Our next mayor should be ready to reimagine public safety with the understanding that community services and supports must be prioritized over the same failed police-centric tactics. It’s time for city leadership to take a new, more effective, and transformative approach to achieve true public safety. To make Memphis safer, we must end the criminalization of poverty, support youth opportunities and wellbeing, and invest in our people and communities.
By pledging to make the following commitments, the Memphis Mayor can act to keep all of us safe.
Improve Public Health to Improve Public Safety
- Adopt a moral budget for Memphis that prioritizes funding for social services, affordable housing, public transportation, living wage jobs, and healthcare access over policing.
- Treat gun violence as a public health issue with a focus on prevention and intervention.
- Increase access to mental health resources and community-based violence intervention programs as alternatives to police response.
- Offer Mental Health First Aid and Community-Based Violence Intervention training for all city employees.
- Align economic strategies to support companies that invest in childcare, transportation, liveable wages, and hiring justice-impacted individuals.
Implement Community-Centered Solutions
- Establish an inclusive, year-round community budget input process with regular forums, surveys, and meetings to gather perspectives.
- Meaningfully involve community members, especially those closest to the problems, in designing solutions.
- Increase funding for proven community violence intervention initiatives like trauma-informed restorative justice programs and mentoring.
- Implement existing police reform ordinances with robust community involvement.
Invest in Youth Development
- Prioritize funding for youth services like libraries, parks, community centers, and summer jobs over policing and punishment.
- Develop youth & parent workshops on constitutional rights and interactions with police.
- Empower groups like the Youth Justice Action Council to have a meaningful voice in policies and decisions impacting youth.
- Invest in opportunities like the summer jobs program to help youth gain skills.
- Provide safe spaces and funding for youth recreation, learning, and creative expression.
Reduce Reliance on Police
- Create an Office of Violence Prevention staffed by behavioral health professionals as an alternative to police response.
- Remove armed officers from non-criminal calls and replace them with unarmed response teams.
- Invest in pre-arrest diversion programs and other alternatives to policing and incarceration.
- Expand non-police responses to mental health crises.
Increase Accountability & Transparency
- Strengthen CLERB’s independence and subpoena power for robust police oversight.
- Increase data transparency around policing, city budgets, and outcomes by neighborhood, race, and other demographics.
- Develop inclusive community engagement in identifying problems and solutions.
- Improve coordination between city departments and offices to streamline access to services.