Ferguson, MO, Residents Demand City Council Rescinds Renewal of City Manager’s Contract - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Ferguson, MO, Residents Demand City Council Rescinds Renewal of City Manager’s Contract

Grassroots activist group, Ferguson Collaborative, rallies against Jeffrey Blume despite City Council turning up its nose

FERGUSON, MO – The Ferguson Collaborative is leading a group of civil rights organizations in calling for the City of Ferguson to rescind and remove its current city manager over his policies that disproportionately impact people of color. In partnership with Advancement Project National Office and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Ferguson Collaborative is also calling for a more transparent and inclusive governance process for the City of Ferguson.

The demands come after a tense protest during a Feb. 25 City Council meeting when councilmembers voted in favor of extending the contract of Interim City Manager Jeffrey Blume to May 2021. The Council refused public comments from community members during the vote and used the city’s police force to barricade themselves from citizen-protestors who called for Blume’s removal from office.

“Jeffrey Blume has a history of enacting and encouraging policies that lead to the arrest of Black, Brown, and low-income residents in Ferguson. He’s encouraged the city’s police force to apprehend, detain, and fine citizens over traffic tickets all to increase revenue for the city,” said Felicia Pulliam of the Ferguson Collaborative. “Blume is not what the city needs as it continues to heal from years of police brutality, bigotry, and targeting of Black residents.”

During the meeting, audience members were wrestled to the ground by the same city police force that killed Mike Brown in 2015. Residents’ mics were cut off when they attempted to speak on the vote, and the Council closed the discussion period to rush a vote. At least one councilmember, Francesca Griffin, disagreed with the majority of the council but was unable to voice her concerns. Griffin is a founding member of the Ferguson Collaborative and has served on the City Council since January.

On the five-year anniversary of the Department of Justice’s report that called out Jeffrey Blume as the architect of these discriminatory and oppressive policies, Ferguson Councilwoman Fran Griffin commented, “The budgetary decisions made by Ferguson’s power structure show where their priorities lie:  not in helping the community, but in throwing money at optics while they continue to maintain systems of oppression behind closed doors—and sometimes in open City Council meetings. They don’t want to be called racist, but that’s what their actions in keeping the status quo are.”

Following the 2015 killing of Mike Brown by the Ferguson Police Department and the events during the Ferguson Uprising, city residents and stakeholders formed the Ferguson Collaborative to hold the City of Ferguson and the Department of Justice accountable to the people of Ferguson. The Collaborative also acts as true representatives of the people in the consent decree process—a legal agreement overseen by the Justice Department that mandates policing reforms in the city.

“Community members have a right to determine not only who they elect to office in the City of Ferguson but should also be able to have their voices heard on who is employed by the municipality,” said Thomas Harvey, Justice Project Program Director for Advancement Project National Office. “This is a core right of our democracy. What the mayor and members of the council did that night denied citizens their right to be heard.”

In August 2019, Advancement Project National Office published The Genius of Ordinary People, a report examining how the Ferguson Collaborative has spent the last five years putting the pressure on local and federal policymakers and courts, ousting a court-appointed official, rallying for the dismissal of thousands of municipal court cases, and positioning themselves in powerful seats.

###

The Ferguson Collaborative is a group of concerned stakeholders who are advocating for empowered community input into the Department of Justice’s Consent Decree negotiations and outcomes with the City of Ferguson. We advocate for fair inclusion that centralizes the voices of those most affected by unconstitutional policing in Ferguson, which truly allows for the community to shape the outcome.

Advancement Project National Office is a next-generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change. Visit www.advancementproject.org

KEEP READING

Advancement Project Welcomes Chauvin Verdict, Implores America to Move Beyond Policing

CONTACT Alex Jordan [email protected] 404-558-3581 WASHINGTON – Today, in response to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, leaders from the Advancement Project National Office—a multi-racial civil rights organization—issued the following statements:  “We welcome today’s verdict in the hopes that it might bring a modicum of peace and healing to George Floyd’s family and friends, who have suffered irreparable harm and loss at the hands of Derek Chauvin and the Minneapolis Police Department,” said Judith Browne Dianis,…

Read More
Advancement Project Statement on Murder of Adam Toledo

Today, we join Chicago in grief and outrage at the murder of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latino boy whose life was cruelly taken by Chicago Police. We express our deepest sympathy to Adam’s friends and family; we stand in solidarity with organizers, activists, and the broader Chicago community as they take to the street to express their despair and demand justice.

Read More
Mapping Injustice: Navigating the Criminal Legal System 101

Grassroots organizers are leading the fight to dismantle the incarceration state. In its current form, the criminal legal system criminalizes and incarcerates people of color in the name of “law and order.” In 2021, Advancement Project National Office, along with Michigan Liberation, Close the Workhouse, Neighborhood Defender Service Detroit, Detroit Justice Center, and East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition (EBRPPRC), partnered to present a forum series on the various phases of a criminal case: Policing, Arrest, and Pretrial Trial, Sentencing, and Plea Negotiations Incarceration and Re-Entry During each session, organizers and lawyers mapped the…

Read More
Advancement Project Statement on Daunte Wright’s Murder, Police Claims of Accidental Discharge

CONTACT Alex Jordan [email protected] 404-558-3581 WASHINGTON – Today, in response to the police murder of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Advancement Project National Office’s Thomas B. Harvey, Program Director of the Justice Project, issued the following statement: “We are heartbroken and outraged at the murder of Daunte Wright. We stand in solidarity with Daunte’s family and the Black and Brown Minnesotans who are sharing their grief, outrage, and disgust after police have taken the life of another Black man in their state. “Daunte Wright was murdered by a police officer only miles from where George Floyd…

Read More
Civil Rights, Racial Justice Organizations Applaud Biden’s Executive Order Aimed at Facilitating Voter Registration, Urges Robust Implementation and Tracking

Media Contact: Elana Needle Email: [email protected] The Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative—the foremost diverse coalition of national racial justice and civil rights organizations representing and serving more than 53 million people in the United States—applauds President Joseph R. Biden’s recent executive action to make it easier for Americans to register to vote. Signed on the 56th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the new Biden executive order requiring federal agencies to submit plans to help facilitate voter registration invokes the legacy of the 600 activists, including the late Congressman John Lewis, who were attacked by law enforcement as they attempted to…

Read More
We Will Continue to Fight for You, Breonna

By Advancement Project National Office Photo by Maria Oswalt via Unsplash Breonna Taylor’s name and face have been shared around the world. Her murder by Louisville Metro Police in 2020 sparked a rallying cry for racial justice online, in protests, in courtrooms and in our homes. Her story is both unlike any other and a reminder of the countless community members we’ve lost from police and political violence. Today is the anniversary of when she was taken, and her presence continues to live through her family, her legacy, and the millions of lives she’s touched. In June 2020, Advancement Project…

Read More
Esri, and the Racial Equity Anchor Institutions Partner to Launch Survey on Policing Budgets Across Country

Washington, DC – On February 25, 2021 at 10:00 am ET, the Racial Equity Anchor Institutions and Esri will host a virtual press briefing on the launch of a new initiative to survey and track policing budgets in targeted areas around the nation. The new initiative is an effort to aid communities on their journey to better engage with and potentially reimagine what public safety looks like, neighborhood by neighborhood. Interested media can register to attend by visiting https://naacpheadquarters.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eMlWidmDQgeG1qKqHWkdDg. 2020 and 2021 presented highs and lows across the country. It has been exhausting for our nation, communities, and…

Read More
Police Brutality in Rochester Proves that Police ‘Reform’ is a Myth

By Thomas B. Harvey, Justice Project Program Director Nothing short of police abolition will end the continued abuses of a system of policing designed to systematically oppress Black people and maintain a white supremacist status quo. Credit: Life Matters Last month, police in Rochester, New York pepper sprayed, manhandled, handcuffed and arrested a nine-year-old Black girl in obvious mental health crisis. This horrifying violence triggered a familiar and morbid routine: news coverage of this police brutality was met with strongly worded condemnations from political leaders, whose calls to reform policing were centered in the conversation; meanwhile…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Issues Statement on President Biden’s Executive Orders Addressing Racial Equity

“We acknowledge and commend the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to make racial equality a legislative priority and center piece to their agenda."

Read More
Fighting for Voting Rights is How We Honor Dr. King’s Legacy

By Jorge L. Vasquez, Jr., Program Director, Power and Democracy until every eligible voter has equal access to the polls and every voting age citizen is eligible to vote without unnecessary and unwarranted interference, there will always be citizens who, as Dr. King coined, “cannot live as a democratic citizen.” “So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I do not possess myself. I cannot make up my mind-it is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen, observing the laws I have helped to enact-I can only submit…

Read More