We just got an urgent request from some friends in Ferguson, Missouri.
Here's the quick backstory: You probably heard that the Department of Justice recently issued an unprecedented report exposing leaders in Ferguson for grave violations of the civil rights of Black residents. Six community officials—including the chief of police—have been forced from their posts.1
Now, a major election is coming up in Ferguson. And a group of Ferguson community leaders is coming together to launch a bold new organization that can run candidates and help translate movement energy into political power in the final weeks and days before Election Day.
But Ferguson's elections are in less than a month—which means this effort needs to get going NOW. And whether this gets off the ground is up to us—MoveOn members. This effort will only succeed if organizers can raise $50,000 by Friday.
Can you chip in $3 now and help community leaders in Ferguson make lasting political change?
Black residents have been routinely harassed and detained by police without provocation. Dogs have been set on kids as young as 14, who were later not even charged with a crime.2 People have been thrown into crippling financial debt for low-level citations while high-ranking officials engaged in the worst forms of nepotism and cronyism to shirk their own speeding tickets.3
It will be a huge undertaking to make the kinds of structural and leadership changes needed to address these issues that are affecting Ferguson—and many of our communities. But that change begins by having an impact on local elections and electing leadership who will be responsive to communities of color. And what better place is there to start than Ferguson, Missouri?
Can you chip in $3 right now? This effort can only succeed if we can raise $50,000 by Friday.
With your support, these groups will build a political organization with a power that matches the incredible wave of community organizing that's risen since Michael Brown's death. Organizers will harness this momentum to elect new leadership in a shockingly segregated city, create powerful constituent blocs to advocate for commonsense reforms, and demand leadership that represents the people of Ferguson.
This is the next step that some key local organizers in Ferguson want to take—and they've asked for our help. This is an opportunity to turn the national attention on Ferguson into meaningful action that will improve the lives of local residents while serving as a model for community empowerment that could be echoed and adopted throughout the country. But, because MoveOn is member-funded, we can only help out if enough of us chip in.
Can you chip in $3 to support this important project?
The officials who committed grave injustices against the people of Ferguson must be held accountable for the lives they altered and ruined. New leadership needs to be elected so Ferguson can rebuild and start again.
The world is watching what happens next in Ferguson—and organizers in Ferguson know what happens in their community has the potential to spur people all over the country to change unjust systems and build communities based on justice and dignity for all of us.
To get started, they need your support. I just chipped in—will you? Thanks for all you do.
–Corinne, Victoria, Josh, Joan, and the rest of the team
1. "Ferguson Police Routinely Violate Rights of Blacks, Justice Dept. Finds," The New York Times, March 3, 2015
2. "Here's How Ferguson Police Use Dogs On Town Residents," BuzzFeed News, March 4, 2015
3. "Ferguson judge behind aggressive fines policy owes $170,000 in unpaid taxes," The Guardian, March 6, 2015
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