Educators Support Durham Beyond Policing

durham beyond policing

On Monday March 14, hundreds of Durhamites gathered to protest the plans to build a new police headquarters in Durham and to demand investment in Durham’s communities of color. (See more here.)   Eastway Elementary School teacher Turquoise Parker spoke on behalf of DAE.  Here are her words:

Greetings and Salutations,

My name is Turquoise Parker and I’m a 2nd grade teacher in Durham Public Schools. I’m here to speak in opposition of the $80 million allocation towards police headquarters.

Fully funded communities are a crucial for our world and they include, at a minimum:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Robust city summer camps that help prevent summer academic slide
  • Race equity training for city employees
  • Job training
  • Checking the pipes for lead and ensuring there is safe water
  • Green jobs training programs
  • Libraries
  • Mentoring program for students aged 7-16
  • Roads
  • Additional sports opportunities
  • Free Daycare
  • Free City Buses
While police do many important things, I believe we can be better stewards of our city’s money by investing in our future. I would remind you that,  fundamentally:
  • Affordable Housing
  • Robust city summer camps that help prevent summer academic slide
  • Race equity training for city employees
  • Job training
  • Checking the pipes for lead and ensuring there is safe water
  • Green jobs training programs
  • Libraries
  • Mentoring program for students aged 7-16
  • Roads
  • Additional sports opportunities
  • Free Daycare
  • Free City Buses
should be part of our essential services.

It takes a team to deliver even basic services when many children need them, and ALL children do.  That money can be used to deliver those crucial services.

We are so far away from meeting our goals as a county, as a state and as a country.  There is urgency in our communities.  I know that you agree that our objective is NOT to provide our community with mediocrity.

If our city spends money on new police headquarters, there will not be anywhere near the amount of resources our community needs.  IF we are really serious about advancing ALL of our citizens where our motto is “Durham…where GREAT things happen”, we need to get everything we can out of every dollar.

Putting more money into the police department is definitely not making GREAT things happen. It’s not GREAT things when you have old and beat up community facilities. It’s not GREAT things when we have underfunded housing.  You want to make the city GREAT but we are investing more money into the police headquarters than into our own children, our future. OUR Durham will be broken if we don’t invest in our community!
Invest this money in our kids!!! Instead of funding more police, fund an activity or organization that will help our kids! Our kids are suffering from systemic racism and it HAS TO STOP!!! Invest in:
  • Affordable Housing
  • Robust city summer camps that help prevent summer academic slide
  • Race equity training for city employees
  • Job training
  • Checking the pipes for lead and ensuring there is safe water
  • Green jobs training programs
  • Libraries
  • Mentoring program for students aged 7-16
  • Roads
  • Additional sports opportunities
  • Free Daycare
  • Free City Buses

Our teachers cannot run any faster, sleep any less, and they will NEVER be able to meet every single need of their children with their already limited resources.  We will not be able to compensate for what we are about to lose if we don’t act now to fully fund our community.  So I demand that the city provide the funding we need to make our shared objectives possible.

 

 

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