Democracy for NYC (DFNYC) is committed to the ideals espoused by Democracy for America, the organization founded by Howard Dean, and the national network of local coalition groups dedicated to the same.
We work both locally and nationally to ensure that fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates are elected at all levels of government. We develop innovative ways to advocate for the issues that matter to our members and support legislation which has a positive effect in our communities. We promote transparency and ethical practices in government. We engage people in the political process and give them the tools to organize, communicate, mobilize, and enact change on the local, state, and national level.
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We at DFNYC are saddened and outraged at the killing of Alfred Olango, a 30-year-old unarmed Black man, was shot by police in El Cajon, California on Tuesday, September 27th.
The police arrived at his home after his sister called 911 as he was suffering a mental breakdown and was afraid he might hurt himself. Within two minutes of arriving on the scene, police opened fire on Alfred after he pointed an object (an e-cigarette) at them. After seizing the cell phone of a witness who recorded the shooting, police have have not released the video -- but decided instead to release a still photo to influence initial public perception and media coverage.
Alfred Olango joins a painfully long list of Black Americans -- including Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, Philando Castile, and Alton Sterling -- who have suffered appalling deaths at the hands of police this year (according to the Washington Post, 174 Black Americans have been killed in officer-involved shootings in 2016). These killings have outraged millions and struck many numb at the endless news cycle of senseless tragedy and lack of accountability for those who are supposed to "serve and protect" us.
We must not remain silent as the pain of communities of color grows louder under the systemic oppression of our criminal justice system -- and the life and death consequences it renders every day. The time for simply being a sympathetic but passive "ally" to the movement is over. If we are going to achieve transformative change that saves lives, we have a responsibility to meaningfully join this fight for racial justice and not just sharing our shock, outrage, and pain on social media.
This is a moral moment for each of us and our country. We, at Democracy for New York City, encourage our members to take action and hold police accountable so another senseless tragedy does not take place.
DFNYC is deeply committed to fighting against systemic racism and inequity. We support the Movement for Black Lives and its transformative vision of racial and economic justice, equal treatment in our criminal justice system, and relief from our nation's long history of oppression, as well other organizations at the forefront of this struggle that coordinate actions, messages and campaigns, such as the Black Youth Project 100, Color of Change, and the Black Lives Matter Network, that are working together to organize, train, and enact reforms and policies that will fundamentally improve the lives of communities of color.
We encourage our members to get involved, as there is simply no time to waste. We are not powerless and can make a difference to ensure that these senseless tragedies no longer take place.