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Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus Calls on Board of Supervisors to Reject Mayor’s Emergency Proclamation and Instead Fund Long-term Solutions for Community Safety

December 22, 2021 News

Media Contact: media@advancingjustice-alc.org

Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus Calls on Board of Supervisors to Reject Mayor’s Emergency Proclamation and Instead Fund Long-term Solutions for Community Safety

SAN FRANCISCO — Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus issued the following statement today in response to the Mayor’s emergency proclamation and called on the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to support long-term solutions for community safety for everyone.

“Like so many, we are horrified and heartbroken by the death, trauma, and fear that communities in the Tenderloin are enduring. For years, communities in the Tenderloin have been calling for real solutions that promote safety and dignity for everyone. We also know from history and recent studies that we cannot police and incarcerate our way out of a public health crisis. Communities of color, including many of our clients, were deeply harmed by the War on Drugs that resulted in the criminalization and mass incarceration of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Californians. The human cost of repeating history is too high.

“During the protests following George Floyd’s murder in 2020, San Franciscans committed to identifying and investing in long-term solutions that promote safety, healing, and recovery for everyone. Mayor Breed’s proclamation of emergency, concerningly, fails to uphold those commitments. Criminalizing unhoused residents will result in disqualification from virtually all housing options on account of having a criminal record, undermining any long-term solutions and exacerbating the crisis even further. Overdoses in the Tenderloin persist because we have never fully funded evidence-based programs and policies that meaningfully address extreme economic distress and inequity in a manner that will last: stable housing, financial security, harm reduction programs, mental and behavioral health care, safe supply programs, and community-based treatment centers.

“Alongside our partners, including the Housing Rights Committee, the Coalition on Homelessness, and the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, we oppose the Mayor’s proposal to increase policing and surveillance. Expanding the carceral system is counter to what thousands of San Francisco residents have come together to protest for the past year, knowing that these strategies were designed and expanded to oppress Black and Indigenous communities. We are in solidarity with Tenderloin residents who are calling for long-term solutions that alleviate the root causes of this public health crisis: poverty, lack of healthcare, lack of stable and affordable housing, and institutionalized racism.

“We call on the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to instead support programs that voters, residents, and community organizations have asked for to build a safer city for everyone, including the Compassionate Alternative Response Team (CART), Street Crisis Response Team, safe injection sites, community-based mental health and substance use treatment programs and services, expansion of the Shelter-in-Place (SIP) Hotel Program, stable and supportive housing for all unhoused residents through Prop C and other funds, and culturally and linguistically appropriate resources for immigrant residents of the Tenderloin.”

About Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus

Asian Law Caucus (ALC) was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first legal and civil rights organization focusing on the needs of low-income, immigrant and underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Recognizing that social, economic, political, and racial inequalities continue to exist in the United States, ALC is committed to the pursuit of equality and justice for all sectors of our society.