January 9 Strike Against Crime
Date: Sat, Dec. 20, 2008
This week the City Council appropriately challenged the mayor's outrageous budget cuts to our criminal justice system, with a 6-1 override of his vetoes. We would like to see the council take still stronger budgetary action to secure our safety, by tying budgetary expenditures to specific marks of accountability by the NOPD, DA, and Public Defenders. Still, the strongly united effort this week demonstrated a City Council properly responsive to citizen outrage over the mayor's actions and acutely aware of how central budgetary concerns are to the crime crisis we are experiencing.
Money is needed to address the crime problem. Yet money—the fiscal well-being of our city—also hangs in the balance each day the problem worsens, and it is this point that we aim to make during the January 9 Strike Against Crime. Already your ideas and suggestions are helping to shape how this strike will be manifest in your businesses and neighborhoods. Here are some of the events that are emerging:
**Several small businesses have made a commitment to make a donation—equal to the amount of the day's city sales taxes—to a local charity. If you are a business owner who feels that your business is threatened by crime in New Orleans, join this effort and send a message of how important a single day of your business is to the city's wallet. Send us a pledge of your participation.
**A soccer event is being organized by Soccer in the Streets, representing the long-standing abandonment of city recreation programs and facilities.
**Some local citizens wish to gather at City Hall, bringing the message of their discontent directly to city leadership.
**And some of you have written of your willingness to sacrifice a day's pay, and undertake a real strike, in the hope that a fiscal message will finally get through to our leaders.
One the aspects that this "strike" will embrace is the unique individuality of our citizens. Everyone can find a way to participate and to express their concerns with creativity on January 9th. We look forward to hearing ideas from school teachers and students, artists and tradespeople, bakers and baristas.
Keep sending us your ideas, or write to sign up for any of the above actions or to request printed materials to post in your neighborhood or workplace.