Memorandum of Understanding
Hello, thank you all so much for supporting the work of the People's Budget Bako up to now. This summer we saw community members rise up, and take to the streets in support and defense of Black lives in this nation and abroad. This led to the very clear demand to Defund the Bakersfield Police Department due to their generations of abusive, racist, sexist, queerphobic, and overall unjust, vile practices. Contrary to popular belief, Bakersfield residents were in support of seeing the Bakersfield Police Department defunded, and using that money to invest in BIPOC communities that have been historically disinvested in.
2020 has taught us many things, and one of those is the power of community. The People's Budget Bako is a group founded and run with the intention to affirm, defend, protect, uplift, and equip our communities with the tools to dismantle the system of white supremacy in the city of Bakersfield. We do this from a lens that centers the care and leadership of Black community members due to the fact that in this city, and this world, Black folks are historically, and intentionally left out. We recognize that if our lives are truly and inextricably linked, until we face, and dismantle the systems that harm, turn a blind eye to, and disposes of Black Lives, we are all dying.
We want to onboard community members, and groups into our coalition, so that we can ensure that for the next budget cycle, the Bakersfield City Council listens to the demands of the people. In the past two budget cycles we have had to deal with lies, gaslighting, and false promises of doing better, only for the Bakersfield City Council to continue to drop the ball every year. The goal of People's Budget Bakois is to divest from BPD to invest in BIPOC Communities and the services we need: Healthcare, Housing, Education, Access to Food, and more. If you are an interested community member or an organization interested in getting involved, please read our Community Agreements below.
From the jump, we have tried to make this space as intentional, and as safe as possible for everyone involved (especially black folks). Because of this, we want to make sure everyone interested in joining is in agreement to the collective commitment we have all agreed to center in this space.
•This is a Black-led space centering the lives of ALL Black people regardless of what intersections they come
into this work from.
• The dignity, safety, and humanity of Black people must be a priority at all times.
• Any and all internalized anti-Blackness has no place in this coalition and those of us who give life to anti-
blackness will be justly asked to leave.
• Allies commit to actively doing the work to eradicate anti-Blackness within themselves and their bases.
• It is the job of Allies to educate other non-Black people on how to be an ally
• Speak up against anti-Blackness in ourselves and our communities
• Connect with other allies on a regular basis to ensure the space is safe for Black people and come up with
ways to be an active ally.
• Connect with potential coalition partners to ensure the space is safe for Black people.
• Be accountable for the ways allies have been anti-Black in the past and present and commit to repairing harm.
• The goal of proactive accountability is to focus on the healing of those harmed.
• A commitment to defund the police as a step to abolition.
If you or your organization is in agreement with the Community Agreements listed above, we welcome you to fill out the question below.
We are excited to further this work in community.