Statement regarding Sac TBTN’s withdrawal from Compassionate Sacramento Launch/916 Day:
Sacramento Take Back the Night recently made a last minute decision to withdraw from participating in the Compassionate Sacramento Launch/916 Day on Sunday, September 16th. After much consideration, we reached the conclusion that it is a conflict of our mission and purpose to participate in a city-backed event in which the majority of our local and intersectional community organizers are excluded. Additionally, we refute the designation of Sacramento as an official “Compassionate City” when there is so much inequality, suffering and injustice happening within our community while our city council looks on, continuing to allow harmful policies to be enforced.
On July 25, 2017 the Sacramento City Council passed a resolution drafted and presented by Compassionate Capital Region for Sacramento to be recognized internationally as Compassionate Sacramento — an aspirational title to help “align policy with community needs.”
With this resolution, Sacramento joined the Charter for Compassion as a participant in the International Compassionate Cities Initiative which supports governments and residents in planning and realizing initiatives that foster compassionate action in areas such as community building, social justice, equity, city-wide innovation, social entrepreneurship, civic engagement and governance.
In other words, the Sacramento City Council adopted a charter pledging to do the following:
- Foster a community of inclusion, understanding the contributions of our diverse cultures;
- Build caring communities;
- Encourage a positive appreciation of diversity;
- Cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of others; and
- Be moved by compassion in its public policy considerations.
Despite affirming this charter, the Sacramento City Council continues to approve and enforce funding and policies that harm the most vulnerable people in our communities: the poor, homeless, women, and people of color. Since passing this resolution, the City of Sacramento has and continues to:
- Criminalize homelessness by allowing an anti-camping ordinance to be enforced;
- Allow 6 months to pass without any justice for Stephon Clark;
- Support a DA that does not press charges in police brutality and excessive force cases;
- Tolerate Mayor Steinberg’s disrespectful actions and behaviors towards a grieving community;
- Approve funding for police riot vehicles in excess of $800,000; and
- Fail to commit adequate funding toward efforts to investigate and end sex/human trafficking, despite Sacramento’s status as a hub.
This is NOT compassion. Sacramento MUST do better. Until then, we stand in resistance with our local community, partners, and allies in activism.
Sacramento Take Back the Night