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- Philadelphia, PA
The Investing in Safety We Can Feel survey was released in October 2020 to help answer the question: “what do our communities need to be safe?” Over 1300 Philadelphia residents responded to the online survey, and their responses show that Philadelphians know that directly investing in communities is how we make them strong, healthy, and safe – not investing in policing.
The distribution of this survey was intentionally a community effort. We know internet access is a barrier to hearing from some of the most crucial perspectives. That’s why community organizers distributed the survey in churches and at community meetings, in families’ and respondents’ native languages, and some even made phone calls and helped people take it over the phone. It was a challenge with our limited resources, and we didn’t reach every community we would like to in the future. However, we know this survey provides crucial insight into how Philadelphians think about the role of police in keeping us safe, and what investments communities want instead.
With Philadelphia reflecting on one of its most violent years in recent history, it’s painfully clear that our investments are misdirected. Every year, Philadelphia has given more and more funding to policing and less and less funding to resources that are proven to address the root causes of violence. It hasn’t made our communities any safer. Now, we have over 1000 Philadelphians saying very clearly what the city must do to chart a different path forward. And the time to do it is now.