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

We will win with supporters like you, Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation & Jack Dorsey of Twitter’s #startsmall

Since mid-March, Advancement Project National Office’s team has been entrenched in advocacy, communications and litigation—fighting to make sure community members in jail are #FreeAndSafe during COVID-19 and calling for for accountability and demanding cities and counties #DefundThePolice . Our team has been working around the clock, fatigued yet energized by wins across the country,petition signatures and calls to policymakers, and the 110,000 new supporters to our campaign for #FreeAndSafe communities. As we close the month of June, we also want to thank Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation and Jack Dorsey of Twitter’s #startsmall. In response to the urgent need for police accountability, the Clara Lionel…

Read More
Youth Across Country Petition School Boards to Reimagine Safety in National Week of Action

Black and Brown Youth Demand #PoliceFreeSchools with National Week of Action Today, June 22, 2020, marks the beginning of a week-long, nationwide call to support young people and their allies in the fight for police-free schools. This national week of action is being called by the National Campaign for Police-free Schools led by the Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ) and Advancement Project National Office and supported by the Center for Popular Democracy, the Communities for Just Schools Fund, and the Funder’s Collaborative for Youth Organizing. In the week ahead, communities across the country,…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Statement on the Rayshard Brooks

WASHINGTON, DC — On Wednesday, June 17, the cop responsible for the killing of Rayshard Brooks was charged by the Fulton County (GA) District Attorney five days after Brooks struggled and ran away from Atlanta Police Department officers. Advancement Project National Office has to following to say: “Advancement Project National Office We are still mourning the loss of Rayshard Brooks who joins George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others who died needlessly at the hands of the police. We know the criminal legal system does not produce justice.  We know arrests, indictments, and even convictions won’t prevent the next Black man…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Statement on Trump’s Policing Statement, Executive Order

WASHINGTON DC — Advancement Project National Office’s statement on Trump’s statement that his executive order on policing is a “step in the right direction” is as follows:  …

Read More
Decades Long Fight by National, Local Organizations Lead to Unanimous School Board Vote in Denver

Denver Public School Board votes to end contract with Denver Police Department Unanimously, the Denver Public School Board Thursday night voted to end the contract between Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the Denver Police Department. The resolution that the school board voted on calls for a 25 percent reduction of school resource officers (SROs) by December 2020 and the complete elimination of SROs in DPS by the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Additionally, it directs the superintendent to reallocate money used for SROs toward social workers, counselors, restorative justice, and other practices.

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Applauds Passage of ‘Breonna’s Law’ Banning No-knock Warrants in Louisville, KY

WASHINGTON, DC – The Louisville Metro Council tonight unanimously passed “Breonna’s Law,” an ordinance banning any search warrant that does not require police to announce themselves and their purpose at one’s premises. The mayor is expected to sign the ban immediately. Advancement Project National Office this week released a petition and has been working with grassroots partner Black Lives Matter-Louisville and celebrities committed to getting justice for Breonna Taylor who was killed while sleeping in her apartment March 13, by Louisville Metro Police Department officers during a no-knock raid. “Yes, we need wins but we need bold wins. We need…

Read More
Local and National Support Grows in Advance of Denver Public Schools Vote to End Contract with Denver Police Department

Today, Denver Public School Board Members will vote on a resolution that has the potential to terminate the contract between the Denver Police Department (DPD) and Denver Public Schools (DPS). This, part of a wave of similar school board actions nationwide to remove police from schools, started with decisions in Minneapolis, MN and Portland, OR following the brutal murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police officers in May.  The resolution calls for a 25 percent reduction of school resource officers (SROs) by December 2020 and the complete elimination of…

Read More
Celebrities, Grassroots Activists, National Racial Justice Advocates Demand Justice for Breonna Taylor and Issue Call to Action to Communities Nationwide

On Tuesday, June 9, a coalition of celebrities, grassroots organizers and national racial justice groups hosted a virtual town hall calling attention to the unjust killing of Breonna Taylor and the need for systemic reform of the nation’s legal system.

Read More