Black Lives Matter
Mayor John Dailey
Over the past few weeks, I have heard the protestors, read thousands of emails, and taken hundreds of phone calls. I am inspired to see so many in our community make their voices heard and express their commitment to equality and justice.
The past few weeks have been traumatic for our nation and our Tallahassee community. I know our community is hurting, but I also know that some in our community are hurting more than others as they uniquely bear the weight and trauma of this moment.
I also know it is important for our entire community to hear their leaders say Black Lives Matter. Today I say unequivocally that Black Lives Matter.
But I know words are not enough.
At our last meeting, the City Commission unanimously expressed our support for a Citizens Review Board to review officer-involved shootings. We have already implemented Campaign Zero’s “8 Can’t Wait” policies and I’ve joined mayors across the country in signing former President Barack Obama’s pledge to review and, where necessary, reform police use of force in our community. We’ve come a long way but I know we have more to do and we can’t do it alone.
We need more voices at the table that truly represent our entire community because we can only learn to better serve everyone in Tallahassee if we hear everyone’s story. I am proud to serve on the first majority-minority City Commission since Reconstruction and on the first Tallahassee City Commission with two Black women.
We need you, the public, to join us as we review things like our use of force policy. But we also need you to help us diversify our police force so it better reflects our community.
We need to pass the Children’s Services Council in Leon County this November, which will provide a dedicated funding source for the needs of our community’s children and families.
In my faith tradition we are called to do justice. We do justice by making other people’s problems our problems.
When we really make other people’s problems our problems; when Black lives don’t just matter in Tallahassee but are valued, respected, and honored; when one’s skin color is no longer viewed as a threat — then, and only then, will we truly be Tallahassee Strong.
John E. Dailey is mayor of Tallahassee. He can be reached at 300 S Adams St. Tallahassee, FL 32301-1721