Our immigrant communities are vital to Durham’s strength and identity. We must stand up to the discrimination and violence that has plagued our communities and be a city where everyone has a place and no one lives in fear.
We have to demand local law enforcement that is efficient, transparent, and accountable. Communities of color and marginalized groups continue to suffer the strain of discrimination, harassment, and violence by local law enforcement. We have to reject policies designed to harass and tear apart families. We have to continue to work toward effective communication between police and residents, and demand a commitment by the department to protect and serve us all with equal regard for our humanity.
Durham is thriving in so many ways – economically, physically, artistically, but the city is thriving at the expense of poor communities and communities of color. We should value everyone who values Durham, not just those who have placed a value on Durham. We must demand living wages and economic support for all of the communities and openly reject their displacement.
Quality affordable housing is achievable in Durham. In order to get there we have to commit ourselves to it right now. We have to listen to those of us who live in threatened communities and be a steady voice for their inclusion. We also need a long-term commitment to affordable housing from the city and all of its stakeholders.
We deserve equal treatment. We deserve to have our bodies and identities respected everywhere we are. We deserve governments that choose to stand up for us rather than use us as political bargaining chips. We must reject HB142 and any policy that seeks to shame and devalue us.