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The Racial Equity Anchor Institutions and Esri Partner to Launch National Law Enforcement Budget Survey

Last summer, many awoke to the reality of racial injustice that some knew all too well. Many worldwide lifted their voices to demand justice after a police officer killed George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN. George Floyd’s death connects to a deadly pattern of injustice that Black and brown communities experience across the country. This lethal pattern also revealed itself in the killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY, Tony McDade in Tallahassee, FL, Dion Johnson in Phoenix, AZ, and many others whose deaths captured the attention of the nation over the years.
The Racial Equity Anchor Institutions decided to learn more about police budgets, recognizing that racial inequities in policing outcomes may stem from local government practices and decisions in Black and brown communities. To that end, on February 25, 2021, at 10:00 am ET, the Racial Equity Anchor Institutions and Esri hosted a virtual press briefing on the launch of a new initiative to survey, track, and analyze policing budgets. The new initiative is an effort to aid communities on their journey to better engage with and potentially reimagine what public safety looks like, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Police Accountability - Roadmap to Reform

Mapping The Money

The project will survey and track policing budgets in targeted areas around the nation. The results will frame how police budgets interplay with other community-focused policy priorities and aid communities on their journey to better engage with and potentially reimagine what public safety looks like. Local advocates and decision-makers will have a new set of tools to inform local, state, and regional budget investments, all with a racial equity lens.

Community Dashboard of Targeted Jurisdictions for the Survey
Community members can view this dashboard to see if the survey is seeking data from their local law enforcement agency and encourage their participation.

The Moment – Why This Matters Now

It has been traumatic for our nation, our communities, and our families to face the racialized impacts of COVID-19 and the horrendous extra-judicial killings we witnessed at the hands of police. In the wake of these killings, the country saw civil uprisings and protests from coast to coast, marking an inspiring sea change for race and police relations last year.

The local law enforcement budgets we obtain will create transparency and help communities win accountability and justice...This initiative will highlight whether local budgets are aligned with local values. Communities across the country are demanding investments in what our people need and a shift in resources toward services that will make us truly free and safe; we hope this will help get us closer to that ideal.

Judith Browne Dianis Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office

“Many Native people live outside of tribal lands, with many of those residing in urban areas. This new initiative to better understand the size and focus of police budgets will be immensely helpful in crafting public policy that fosters safe and just communities where all Americans — including the First Americans — are treated equally."

Fawn Sharp President of the National Congress of American Indians.

Understanding the landscape of local police budgets is the first step to building accountability and transparency – the foundations upon which our justice system and law enforcement bodies must be built. Working in coalition and using the power of technology, this new initiative seeks to lay the groundwork for meaningful and sustainable solutions to protect communities of color and keep them safe.

Janet Murguia President and CEO of UnidosUS

The past year provided tremendous challenges on all fronts. Confronting these challenges requires a deeper understanding and analysis of the issues at play to create tangible solutions. This new initiative to track policing budgets is a significant first step to building a country that equitably meets its people's needs.

Derrick Johnson President and CEO, NAACP

Learn More & Get Involved

Watch the Press Conference

Watch the recording of this special press briefing where leaders from the Racial Equity Anchor Institutions and Esri’s Racial Equity Initiative unveiled the national survey, premiered the web hub for the project, and explained why this project is critical in advancing racial justice and reforming public safety for the greater good.

Screenshot of Clinton Johnson Speaking at the Press Briefing
Clinton Johnson, leader of Esri's Racial Equity Initiative, speaks at the press conference.

Visit the Online Interactive ArcGIS Hub Site

Visit the Police Accountability – Roadmap to Reform ArcGIS Hub Site where community members and law enforcement agencies can learn more about the project, see if their local jurisdiction is being surveyed, find a link to the survey, and explore other relevant resources.

Screenshot of ArcGIS Hub Site
Visit the "Police Accountability - Roadmap to Reform" ArcGIS Hub Site

Other Resources

ArcGIS for Racial Equity – Overview

Esri Racial Equity GIS Resource Hub

ArcGIS for Police Transparency Solution

Learn ArcGIS: Examine Racial Inequities in Unsolved Homicides

GIS – Visualizing Racial Inequities 

Sharing Black Perspectives on the Racial Implications of Place

About the Racial Equity Anchor Institutions 

The Advancement Project National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Racial Equity Anchor Logos

About the authors

Margot Bordne is an Account Manager on Esri's Global Business Development team and Racial Equity team. Margot supports organizations across industries who leverage GIS to improve their operations and decision making capabilities, with a focus on the use of GIS for advancing equity and social justice. Margot also founded Esri's Women's Enablement & Career Advancement Network (WeCan) and has a Master's Degree in Diversity & Inclusion Leadership at Tufts University.

Clinton Johnson helps organizations create geospatial strategies for equitable outcomes. He takes an empathic approach to technology that begins with understanding real-world challenges faced by diverse communities and finding creative ways to implement practical solutions. Clinton also founded and leads NorthStar, an employee community focused on increasing representation, inclusion and belonging for people of African-descent in GIS. He is also an advocate for belonging and equity for people from underrepresented groups in GIS and STEM more broadly.

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