DSM SURJ News & Action, 6/7/2020

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” — Angela Y. Davis

Letter writing campaign continues: Hold DMPD accountable with these three steps 

To be sent before Tuesday, June 9. We tried for 300 letters on Saturday. We sent over 800. Can you get us to ONE THOUSAND letters demanding accountability for the DMPD?

Here’s what to do in three easy steps:

1. Print three copies of the letter (download it here at this link). Print one more copy if you live in Des Moines.
2. Write the recipient’s name on each letter and sign your name.
3. Mail a copy of the letter to each of the following addresses:

Scott Sanders, City Manager
400 Robert D Ray Drive
Des Moines, IA 50309

Council Member Carl Voss
400 Robert D Ray Drive
Des Moines, IA 50309

Council Member Connie Boesen
400 Robert D Ray Drive
Des Moines, IA 50309

AND FOR DSM RESIDENTS ONLY (Find the City Council Member for your ward here)
(Your city councilors name here)
400 Robert D Ray Drive
Des Moines, IA 50309”

We’ve written a letter with 3 asks for the City to hold the Des Moines Police Department accountable for. The impact of the City Manager receiving 1000 letters in the mail will be huge! Help us make it happen.

1) Focus on diversifying ALL the ranks of DMPD through innovative, intentional strategies whose methods, success metrics and results are transparent. Did you know 80% of the sworn protective services in Des Moines is white male, with 10% white female. Fully 100% of the non-sworn services is white (meaning the chiefs and supervisors, etc).
2) Police officers should be required to give citizens their business cards at each and every stop.
3) In the case of a complaint against an officer, we ask that all evidence related to the complaint be shared verbatim with the City Manager, the City Attorney, and the Human Rights Director.


Tomorrow: Picnic and Conversation – Imagining a World Without Police

Monday June 8 1:30 – 3:30 PM.  Organized and hosted by Des Moines Black Lives Matter. Join us for a community gathering where we imagine a world without police. Food will be provided. Children and families welcome. Please bring your own chairs and blankets.If you are unable to bring supplies but would will like to contribute, please donate to Food For Our Fighters on Venmo or Cash App. https://www.instagram.com/foodforourfighters/ 
Afterwards, we invite you to join the DSM City Council on their zoom call meeting, where they will consider a racial profiling ban.

Bring Supplies: 12:30pm
Picnic: 1:30pm
DSM City Council Zoom Call: 4:30pm

Supplies needed:
Sandwiches
Fruit
Individually-portioned snacks
Water
Gatorade
Bags of Ice
Plates and napkins
Trash bags
 


Action this week to pass a strong anti-racial profiling ordinance

Monday June 8, 2:00  – 3:00 PM. Des Moines City Hall. 400 Robert Ray Dr. , Des Moines. The NAACP and other Community Alliance Members will hold a press conference to announce whether or not they accept the city’s proposed anti-racial-profiling Ordinance. NAACP Iowa/Nebraska Youth & College Division, NAACP Des Moines, and Iowa-Nebraska NAACP State Area Conference of Branches. Learn more at the Facebook event.

Monday June 8, 4:30 PM. Please note that there are concerns with the anti-racial profiling bill. Please join the Zoom call Monday to demand that City Council Does Better. .Attend the meeting from home via zoom at this link: https://zoom.us/j/85018958836?pwd=c3lQSmJoRitFcGwyYlJmUTVFajJidz09
(Meeting ID: 850 1895 8836 Password: 000960) You can also dial in: 833 548 0282 US Toll-free 888 475 4499 US Toll-free Meeting ID: 850 1895 8836 See agenda and more detailed information here.

Demand a strong anti-racial profiling bill. The City Manager is planning to bring the issue of a ban on racial profiling before the City Council, The plan he submitted is a draft from March that was NOT acceptable to the Alliance of organizations that have been working on this issue. Show up to demand the more robust plan be approved. Learn more with this graphic.
https://www.dsm.city/government/council_meetings_and_agendas/index.php

Thursday June 11. 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Banning racial profiling – a statewide update. Sponsored by Iowa CCI. Preregistration required at https://iowacci.ourpowerbase.net/civicrm/event/register?reset=1&id=2597. The Zoom invitation will then be emailed to you. Sponsored by CCI, this webinar features members of the Iowa-CCI Racial Justice Learn the background of work to get an anti-racial profiling ordinance passed in Des Moines and the fight ahead. Hear the background behind Des Moines City Leadership resistance to passing this ordinance. Learn how YOU can make a difference and take four important action steps. Featuring Lori Young and Harvey Harrison.


GoFundMe #BlackLivesMatter Organizer in Des Moines

Donate here:   SURJ DSM supports the GoFundMe campaign of local #BlackLivesMatter organizer Matthew Bruce. He writes:

“My name is Matthew Bruce, I am from the Eastside of Des Moines, and I have been organizing in the #BlackLivesMatter movement for 6 years. Watching my brothers, sisters, friends and community members struggle to fight through police violence, scattered riots, and ideological divisions was just too painful for me to bear. This inspired me to come home from Chicago, where I was protesting, to help lead organization efforts in Des Moines and offer whatever value I could as far as my experience in and understanding of this movement.” 

$1500/month goes to Matthew, the remainder will go to Minneapolis organizers seeking to end police brutality after the murder of George Floyd.
 


Learn the Des Moines History of Housing Discrimination

Wednesday, June 10, 1:00 pm -2:30 pm. Join the Polk County Housing Trust Fund staff for a tour of Undesign the Redline: DSM on Facebook Live! RSVP here at this link. In the 1930s, after the Great Depression, risk management maps of 239 cities were developed to show neighborhoods that were the best for investment and mortgage loans and which were not. These maps, now known as Redlining maps, told banks where and whom they should provide loans. This practice is how structural racism and inequality were designed into our cities and the built environment. And the impact and consequences have never been undone. Explore Des Moines’ history with these policies so our community can begin to pave a more equitable path forward. Learn more about the exhibit and submit a question at www.undesigndsm.com


Zoom intro party with SURJ

Saturday, June 13 1:00 pm -2:00 pm. To attend this event, you must register here. Only the first 100 attendees will be able to join. Space is still available. We will email you a link to join the meeting. We’re going to learn about the basics of SURJ, grow our relationships with one another, and learn about the larger strategies behind focusing on antiracism with white folks. This is a great first meeting for anyone interested in better understanding DSM SURJ! 

Please don’t stop at following us on Facebook. Newcomers and long-time members, white folks and people of color, are invited to this introduction. You can RSVP and track this event on Facebook here.
 


Support Latinx families during the COVID crisis

Undocumented Iowans are not eligible for stimulus payment and other crisis assistance. Help your neighbors by donating to Al Exito, a Latino youth-development and leadership organization that is stepping up to help. Donate here: paypal.me/AlExitoINC or our website: https://www.alexitoiowa.org/donation

Al Éxito continues to deliver free groceries weekly to 21 families around the Des Moines metro who are food insecure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many families have lost their jobs and have limited access to support due to status. We are thankful to everyone who has donated to Al Éxito recently to help us further our mission and support marginalized communities in Iowa during this frightening time!

Al Éxito is conducting a needs assessment statewide of all our families and we are expecting to hear from more families that are in need.


Read with SURJ this summer: Book club

This June, we’ll be discussing Ibram Kendi’s part-memoir, part-instructional bestseller How to Be An Antiracist. In July, we’ll be reading Kendi’s collaboration with Jason Reynolds to remix Stamped from the Beginning into a young adult “not a history book” Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. Then we’ll finish out the summer with James Baldwin’s personal, provocative, and sadly still relevant The Fire Next Time.

Currently, space in the book club is filled. We invite you to read these books on your own or with family or friends. We will send out an updated announcement when space opens up.


Newsletter FAQ

How often does this newsletter come out?

Normally, once a week. Right now, more often due to the need for more communication.

How long has SURJ been writing a newsletter?

SURJ has had an ongoing newsletter since January 2017.

How do items get into the SURJ newsletter? How can I submit something?

Items include SURJ activities, activities by our accountability partners, and other efforts to fight racism locally and nationally.  They are vetted by the SURJ leadership committee. Please submit request for inclusion to our email at dsmsurj@gmail.com.

Who puts the newsletter together?

The newsletter is organized and the email list is maintained by two SURJ members. We are volunteers who take leadership from the SURJ Leadership Committee to create the content for this letter.