After dozens lined up outside Arvada City Hall every weeknight for weeks, peacefully protesting racial inequality and police brutality, the group’s organizers are planning a series of meetings with …
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After dozens lined up outside Arvada City Hall every weeknight for weeks, peacefully protesting racial inequality and police brutality, the group’s organizers are planning a series of meetings with the aim of spurring change.
Organizers, including PJ Travin and Alisha Fleming, held an initial meeting on June 18 to plan the group’s next steps, with an overall goal of ensuring equitable policies and practices are in place within community organizations.
Now, the group invites residents who are interested in its cause to attend a second meeting on July 9.
The group has been going by the name Arvadans for Equality and Social Advocacy but plans to change its name at a later date. It has collected feedback from protesters and other community members on potential action items to pursue.
In its upcoming meetings, the group says it will form sub-committees to research how some items on that list might be implemented.
The list includes starting business incentives for Black and Indigenous people of color, or BIPOC business-owners, to come to Arvada; collecting statistics on Arvada crime as it relates to race and ethnicity; exploring the role of the police and school resource officers, or SROs, in local schools; reviewing the Arvada Police Department’s use of force policies; and others.
“Many of those items are completely fluid and were merely a starting point for conversations, stemming from either the BLM (Black Lives Matter) agenda or about the work people are passionate to take on,” Travin said. “But while some items are fluid, sticking as closely to the BLM agenda as possible is a salient goal.”
The group also has a focus on working with organizations in the broader Jeffco area.
“There is substantial impact that happens under the county umbrella that reverberates into racial injustice in all of our neighborhoods,” Travin said. “This connects to the Jeffco DA, Jeffco Sheriff’s Office, all policies for Jeffco schools and having Jeffco police and SROs in Arvada schools, just to name a quick few.
“From each of these sectors arise extremely important issues in which we need to be on the same page with our neighboring communities,” he continued.
Residents can RSVP for the next meeting after signing up for the Arvadans for Equality and Social Advocacy Facebook page. Because of health guidelines, a maximum of 20 residents will attend the July 9 meeting while others will attend via video conferencing.
“Arvada is full of hope and support, and this gives us excitement for change,” Travin said. “I hope those people that feel defensive seeing us when they drive by realize we are not there to attack them. We are there to show support to people that have been held in a disadvantaged system for far too long.”
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