By Anil Dash

June 2, 2020

Taking Action to Protect Black Lives

This past week has again made visible the centuries-old systems of violence that have been one of the ugliest and most painful parts of America's foundation. It's time to uproot those foundations.

There are pragmatic, specific, achievable actions we can take to end police violence. Police contract reform, demilitarization and non-police alternatives work and save lives. We encourage our community to join us in financially supporting Campaign Zero and their work to advocate for policy solutions to end police violence in America, which are grounded in these meaningful, effective tactics for stopping the bloodshed in our communities.

We support the Black Lives Matter movement, and offer our full support and and strength to our Black workers and community members who are deeply affected by this ongoing trauma. On top of these sentiments, we make specific requests to the leaders who regularly tell us they want to support companies like ours. While our team is remote and distributed, we are a company based in New York City, and so we begin our work in our own community.

Our goal is simple: **we demand the end of police violence in our community. **We categorically reject NYPD Commissioner Shea's blaming of violence on protestors, and the broader NYPD pattern of attributing violent policing actions to "protecting business interests". **It is never valid to commit systemic violence against people, and we reject our work and our workers being used as an excuse to do so. **We reject media characterizations and policing policies that prioritize objects or buildings over lives.

We call upon our Mayor Bill de Blasio to unequivocally take action on the reforms listed above before the end of 2020, and to commit to ending police violence. We ask our Public Advocate Jumaane Williams to prioritize advocacy around these reforms. We ask Borough President Gale Brewer to use her powers of fund allocation to defund programs which enable this kind of systemic violence. We ask District Attorney Cy Vance to end carceral abuses like cash bail and over-prosecution.

We ask New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to stop enabling violent policing through funding militarization of police and through enacting criminalizing actions like curfews, which are disproportionately and unfairly enforced against vulnerable communities, especially Black communities. We ask NY Attorney General Letitia James to continue her stated intent to prosecute policing abuses. We ask Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to support the specific actions above to reduce, and quickly end, police violence.

We commit to asking our leaders about their actions on these efforts each time they look to us to support their claims of supporting businesses, entrepreneurship, or innovation. There can be no opportunity without justice. Black Americans deserve accountability and justice from the systems meant to serve them. It should be enough for a single person to stand up and say "this violence is wrong, and these killings are wrong", but if it takes companies adding their voices, then we lend ours to amplifying the call to end police violence.

We remember George Floyd. We remember Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Abery. We honor their lives, their names, their memories, and those of the far too many other people whose voices have been silenced.

Yassin Mohamed, Finan H. Berhe, Sean Reed, Steven Demarco Taylor, Breonna Taylor, Ariane McCree, Terrance Franklin, Miles Hall, Darius Tarver, William Green, Samuel David Mallard, Kwame Jones, De’von Bailey, Christopher Whitfield, Anthony Hill, De’Von Bailey, Eric Logan, Jamarion Robinson, Gregory Hill Jr, JaQuavion Slaton, Ryan Twyman, Brandon Webber, Jimmy Atchison, Willie McCoy, Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford J, D’ettrick Griffin, Jemel Roberson, DeAndre Ballard, Botham Shem Jean, Robert Lawrence White, Anthony Lamar Smith, Ramarley Graham, Manuel Loggins Jr, Trayvon Martin, Wendell Allen, Kendrec McDade, Larry Jackson Jr, Jonathan Ferrell, Jordan Baker, Victor White III, Dontre Hamilton, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Kajieme Powell, Laquan McDonald, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rumain Brisbon, Jerame Reid, Charly Keunang, Tony Robinson, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Brendon Glenn, Samuel DuBose, Christian Taylor, Jamar Clark, Mario Woods, Quintonio LeGrier, Gregory Gunn, Akiel Denkins, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Terrence Sterling, Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, Alfred Olango, Jordan Edwards, Stephon Clark, Danny Ray Thomas, DeJuan Guillory, Patrick Harmon, Jonathan Hart, Maurice Granton, Julius Johnson, Jamee Johnson, Michael Dean