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2. Invest in public health and community needs

Everyone should have access to health care, mental health services, food, housing, and all they need to thrive.

4 people holding a banner at the front of a protest.

Photo: Sarah Jane Rhee

We all want to live in safe communities. But incarceration as a response to violence, drug addiction, and mental health problems has been an overwhelming failure. The “War on Drugs” has incarcerated millions of people. Families and communities have been torn apart. And these approaches have not made our communities safer.

We know what does help keep us safe: Living in communities where people of every color and background have fair wages, great schools, and affordable healthcare. 

Addiction and mental illness are public health issues. Our response should be prevention and treatment, not punishment. Directing resources towards health and wellness is one part of that. So is funding for public education, employment, housing, food access, and environmental protections.