Posted on Monday, July, 13th, 2020 in Opportunity Fund Grants.
$25,000 / 2020
Poder in Action’s mission is to build power to disrupt and dismantle systems of oppression and determine a liberated future as people of color in Arizona through our lived experience, leadership development, and civic participation. Poder in Action is led by organizers who began as volunteers within the organization and created programs based on their personal experience with injustice in the immigration, criminal justice, and education systems. Each program builds community power by centering those who are most impacted by systemic oppression. Poder In Action’s organizing paid off this past year when they won a trauma compensation fund to support victims of Phoenix police violence and $2 million invested in parks, housing, services for the homeless, and youth programs as a result of Poder’s organized community backlash about the disproportionate investments in community policing and criminalization. Poder also convinced the majority of the Phoenix City Council and Mayor to design a process for civilian oversight of the Phoenix Police Department by July 2019 that can conduct investigations of police misconduct, independent from the police department. They use nonpartisan integrated voter engagement and nonpartisan candidate forums to hold city officials accountable for every police shooting in Phoenix. They also pressured the city using banner drops and media coverage to build the landscape for incremental policy wins that led to the adoption of the civilian oversight board. The policy win includes body cameras for all officers, a trauma response unit at police shootings, a pilot program that sends mental health providers instead of police officers to screened mental health crisis calls. Finally, in December 2019, Poder held 2 city council members accountable for posting a video mocking another city council member for his critical comments on police shootings. The video became viral locally and ultimately received considerable backlash from the press. The council member running for re-election faced the loss of campaign endorsements and campaign funding due to the video and was forced to issue an apology to prevent further damage to their reputation. They have now become anally for police accountability and transparency.