Funding Our Lives for Public Safety
West Side Community Organization believes public safety means affirming lives – not taking them. To affirm lives – especially those of Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities (BIPOC) most affected by racism, economic injustice, and police violence – our city must redirect resources from the Saint Paul Police Department (SPPD) to increase funding for accessible, safe, affordable, and public housing; community services; public education; healthcare; jobs; and other programs that enable us to be well, make ends meet, and create a vibrant community.
Despite the best efforts of reform advocates, the institution of policing remains rooted in white supremacy and racism. Police continue to target, detain, and kill BIPOC community members, making it clear that police reform is ineffective. Therefore, the West Side Community Organization (WSCO) Board of Directors believes that we can only achieve public safety by investing in the programs and systems that affirm our lives while divesting from SPPD. Divestment is not immediate abolition. It’s long-term, well-thought-out, systematic planning to implement public safety strategies developed by and for the community.
Read the full statement from WSCO's board.
Interested in getting involved with WSCO and your neighbors to envision life-affirming public safety? Reach out to us at [email protected] or 651-293-1708
Last updated: 7/30/21
- Ramsey County Adult Mental Health Crisis Line: 651-266-7900
- The St. Paul Domestic Violence Intervention Project: 651-645-2824
- Casa de Esperanza: (651) 772-1611
- OutFront’s Anti-Violence Program Crisis Line: 1 (800) 800-0350 or (612) 822-0127
- Canvas Health 24/7 Sexual Abuse Crisis Hotline: (651) 777-1117
Service referrals and directories
- Handbook of the Streets online directory
United Way 2-1-1 is a statewide information and referral system that has regional offices located around the state. United Way 2-1-1 works closely with many state and local agencies to provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about human services available to the people of the State of Minnesota. Dial 2-1-1 to connect, or call toll free: 800-543-7709, local: 651-291-0211, or text your zip code to 898-211*
- MPD 150
- Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair by Danielle Sered
- We Keep Us Safe by Zach Norris
- The work of local community group Root and Restore Saint Paul
- Fighting Community Abuse: A Community Action Manual from the ACLU
- WSCO’s research on police violence with the ACLU and the U of M’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) (report forthcoming).
- Steps to ask your self before calling the police poster (available for download in English and Spanish)
Community Organizations Call on Walz, Frey, Carter and Hutchinson to Stop “Operation Safety Net” Immediately
We at West Side Community Organization have signed on together with a growing list of over 50 organizations to call on our elected officials to stop harming our communities with "Operation Safety Net". We have the right to live and protest without being terrorized by a militarized police force!
Read the full statement here.