We share the outrage that has filled streets in Seattle and across the world over George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police. We grieve for his family, for Breonna Taylor’s, and for the families of hundreds of others who are killed by police each year (1,000 Americans are killed by police yearly — these deaths fall disproportionately on Black men).
We are also heartbroken and enraged by the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a young man out for his regular run in his South Georgia neighborhood.
The awful truth is that in America, including here in Seattle, running while Black, biking while Black, walking while Black, driving while Black, even just being in parks and other public space while Black can trigger police intervention, hate-based harassment, and worse. This atmosphere of terror for people of color, Indigenous people, and especially Black people, cannot continue.
Our vision is rooted in safe, comfortable, accessible streets; in the belief that the ability to get around safely, to the daily necessities of life, is a basic human right. This includes the right to not be murdered by police or civilian racists and the right to assemble in public spaces to demand justice (“Whose streets? Our streets!” “Black Lives Matter!” “Say his name! George Floyd!”) — without being corralled, tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, beaten, or shot with rubber bullets and flash grenades.
Our commitment now is to continue to advance community-led solutions for street and public space improvements; to implement our racial equity action plan at every level of our organization; and to build solidarity with Black people, Indigenous people, and all people of color in the fight to dismantle white supremacy and racism. There is a long way to go and difficult self-reflection to undertake, but we are committed to doing our part to advance racial justice in Seattle so that everyone can exist, enjoy, protest, and travel safely on our streets.