We at Code for America are filled with grief, anger, and sorrow at the horrifying instances of police brutality that our country is once again bearing witness to. This is not a new phenomenon. Violence against the Black community has a 400-year history in this country; it has been an atrocity since long before the Declaration of Independence was signed. We mourn the losses of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others whose stories have not been nationally visible. We stand with peaceful protestors and organizations stepping up all across the country to speak out against systemic racism. We stand in solidarity with our Black staff members, Brigade volunteers, and all the people we serve in seeking equity and justice for all in our society.
Through our work to expand the social safety net and shrink the criminal justice system, we have seen the way government systems can harm communities. Many of these systems aren’t “broken,” they were designed to be unequal and unjust. It’s on all of us to fix that. Today, once again, we are hearing Black voices across the nation saying, “Enough is enough. These systems were not built for us.”
At Code for America, we have been working to set a new standard for a government that serves everyone with dignity and respect. To do that, we need to ensure that access to and delivery of government services are equitable. We need to ensure that government is there to help people, not harm them. And we need to ensure that government is a force for good—one that rectifies the wrongs of the past and repairs our broken social contract. We call on our friends and colleagues who share our vision for a better kind of government to recommit to these core values, because people’s lives are depending on it.