Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Michael Brown's death last August brought about new inquiries into racial inequality in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo: Getty Images)

Ferguson "People's Report" Unveils Bold Plan To Achieve Racial Equity

Report addresses poverty, policing, school disparities, and other issues in St. Louis, stating, 'Make no mistake: This is about race.'

Nadia Prupis

A panel of activists, researchers, community members, and other volunteers on Monday unveiled a new report with 189 "calls to action" to address the scourge of racial inequity in and around St. Louis, Missouri, illuminated by a year of protests following the police shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August.

Brown's death at the hands of a white police officer galvanized new questions and demands over institutional racism in the U.S., with numerous agencies and nongovernmental bodies drafting their own reports and making their own recommendations on the factors that fuel Ferguson's systems of oppression.

But the Ferguson Commission's venture has been particularly anticipated, due in part to its solicitation of local residents and activists, rather than outside experts, to identify the complex elements at the core of those systems—and how to break down and rebuild them within the affected communities.

The report, entitled "Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity" (pdf), candidly addresses race as an issue to be confronted and worked through.

"[M]ake no mistake: this is about race," the report states in its introduction. "Our primary audience for this report is the people of the St. Louis region. The report is directed to the average citizens whose daily lives are affected by the issues we explored, and whose lives will be impacted by the calls to action we make."

"We believe that if we attempt to skirt the difficult truths, if we try to avoid talking about race, if we stop talking about Ferguson, as many in the region would like us to, then we cannot move forward," the report continues. "Progress is rarely simple, and it rarely goes in a straight line."

Within the 198-page report, the commission's findings are grouped into four overarching categories: Justice for All; Youth at the Center; Opportunity to Thrive; and Racial Equity.

Within those sections, the commission outlined 189 proposals to tackle issues such as police brutality, racial profiling, criminalization of poverty, and barriers to equality in majority-black schools.

Key recommendations of the report include:

  • Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and ending predatory lending to reduce poverty;
  • Establishing a public use-of-force database for the state of Missouri, revising use-of-force policies and training, and creating civilian review boards to improve community and police relations;
  • Developing a comprehensive plan for responding to protests and demonstrations that prioritizes sanctity of human life and unobstructed media coverage of events;
  • Increasing access to care for children and establishing platforms and health centers to support and monitor their well-being;
  • Supporting career and college readiness;
  • And empowering communities to advocate for their own equity.

The commission also recognized that it does not have the power to implement all of its policy recommendations. To that end, the report names a number of government leaders and agencies who do have the necessary authority to bring about those changes, including Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, who has said his office will give the commission its full support.

One member of the panel, activist Brittany Packnett, in a tweet Monday called the report "the people's report, led by our community."

But, she added, it was "a step—not the only, not the first, and it can't be the last. Freedom takes work on all fronts."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Tlaib Leads Call for Biden to Take 'Commonsense Steps' to Aid Afghan Evacuees

"Our country has long offered shelter to those seeking refuge from catastrophe. Now is the time to continue that tradition and stand beside Afghan evacuees in need."

Jessica Corbett ·

'Huge Win': Green Groups Applaud Biden Move to Protect Minnesota Watershed

"You don't allow America's most toxic industry next to America's most popular wilderness," said one environmental campaigner.

Brett Wilkins ·

Taking Aim at Predatory Equity Firms, Warren Leads Bill to 'Stop Wall Street Looting'

"Now is the time," asserted Sen. Bernie Sanders, "to end Wall Street's greed, protect workers, and create an economy that works for everyone, not just the 1%."

Brett Wilkins ·

Arizona Groups Demand Sinema 'Stop Obstructing' on Medicare Expansion

The diverse coalition called on the Democratic senator to back "bold drug pricing reform" and "critical improvements to Medicare's coverage" in the reconciliation package.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Should Be a No-Brainer': Biden Pushed to Back Long-Term Child Tax Credit Extension

"Putting money in the pockets of those who need it most is good for the children and families receiving it, good for local businesses, and helps protect this fragile economic recovery."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo