ShotSpotter is an audio surveillance company that is deployed in Black, Brown, and poor neighborhoods around the country and targets them for more policing. ShotSpotter frames itself as a tool for public safety—something that law enforcement should rely on in their strategies to solve crimes—however, there is no evidence that ShotSpotter has ever helped a city to reduce gun violence. What we do know is that ShotSpotter is a corporation with investors and a bottom line, and part of their business model needs gun violence in order for them to continue getting contracts and remain profitable. Surveillance is not public safety, and public safety is not for profit. Our People’s Earnings Call took place on August 11th at 7:30pm ET to reframe the narrative around ShotSpotter’s financial harms to our communities. Joined by organizers from #StopShotSpotter campaigns in Chicago, Detroit, and Durham, we learned about the similarities and differences in how ShotSpotter is operating in their cities, and actions we can take to build collective power against surveillance.
12-09-21 - A briefing on our work against surveillance company ShotSpotter and how it fits into our overall work to take on 21st Century Policing. We hear from the Chicago leaders who have been running the local campaign against ShotSpotter. They cover lessons from the campaign (from messaging to legislative) and talk about ways that other cities across the country can cancel their ShotSpotter contracts. Sitting at the intersection of criminalization and capitalism, surveillance technology opens the door for law enforcement to monitor communities while private companies grow their profits. As long as community safety is defined as the presence of law enforcement instead of as a system to ensure strategic and targeted community investments, surveillance technology will continue to be prevalent.
THE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIR will meet in OPEN SESSION, HYBRID FORMAT to conduct a hearing entitled,“How Private Equity Landlords are Changing the Housing Market.” The witnesses will be: Ms. Sofia Lopez, Deputy Campaign Director on Housing, Action Center on Race and the Economy; Ms. Holly Hook, Manufactured Home Resident and MHAction Leader in Swartz Creek, MI; Mr. Norbert Michel, Vice President and Director, Center for Monetary & Financial Alternatives, Cato Institute; Mr. Michael Hendrix, Senior Fellow and Director for State and Local Policy, Manhattan Institute; and Dr. Desiree Fields, Assistant Professor of Geography and Global Metropolitan Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
On Thursday May 6th, the Action Center on Race and The Economy (ACRE) gathered Chicago Alderpeople and Community Leaders to brief the media on Chicago Mayor Lightfoot's plans to spend nearly all of the $1.9 Billion American Rescue Plan funds on debt to banks like J.P. Morgan Chase and filling holes in the city's budget. Speakers: Saqib Bhatti, Co-Executive Director, Action Center on Race and the Economy, Chicago Alderpeople Daniel La Spata, Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez and Byron Sigcho-Lopez, Edrika Fulford, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Alyx Goodwin, Senior Organizer, Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE)