Safer Communities Act Takes Long Overdue Step Forward, Implementation Must Protect Marginalized Communities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR
June 24, 2022
Contact: Dena L. Craig, [email protected]
WASHINGTON — Jesselyn McCurdy, executive vice president of government affairs at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act:
“While we applaud Congress for taking a long overdue step forward to address the public health emergency of gun violence that too often claims the lives of our most marginalized neighbors in their homes, schools, and communities, this legislation contains several troubling provisions that disproportionately harm Black and Brown communities.
“The advancement of dangerous and discriminatory measures that could increase the presence of police in schools should never have been included in the bill. The administration must minimize the harm that these policies cause to our children and their learning environments. While investments in our mental health infrastructure and many of the supports in this bill are welcome and long overdue, we reject the premise underlying the bill that people with mental health disabilities pose a harm to our communities. People with mental illness are far more likely to be the victims of violence than its perpetrators.
“Congress and the administration must advance those policies that create real safety for communities without compounding harm or discrimination.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.