On October 3rd a full and overflowing crowd gathered in a big top tent and almost 200 people tuned in virtually for the Black/Brown Unity Coalition (BBUC) Peace Rally. At the end of 2017, the BBUC came together and signed a historic and groundbreaking Code of Conduct agreement with the Toledo Police Department that brought sweeping reform to the department and developed a community grievance mechanism. The rally served as a call to action for all members of the community to unite and join the Black/Brown Unity Coalition to implement this agreement citywide.

This Code of Conduct serves as a nationwide model, as cities across the country are looking for answers on how to reform their police department.

Here at FLOC, we understand that when systems and institutions do not offer justice through their own internal processes, then we must build our own methods to solve the problems in our communities. When internal police grievance systems offer no justice for the community, the Black/Brown Unity Coalition came together and negotiated the Code of Conduct that developed a separate system for community input and grievances. When the US labor regulations did not protect farmworkers’ rights to unionize and participate in collective bargaining, FLOC pressured corporate agricultural giants, like Campbell’s Soup, to recognize a private labor relations board and subsequently negotiated corporate supply chain agreements. “With a broad coalition, we can bring justice to institutions and create our own mechanism to solve the problem.”-Baldemar Velasquez

As police brutality remains at the forefront of public discussion, FLOC and the BBUC are offering concrete and actionable steps to create community-driven reform. We can no longer sit around and wait for change to happen; it is time to take action against the injustices occurring in our communities. The city of Mansfield has already duplicated the Code of Conduct and the city of Oregon is currently negotiating with its police department. Join us in this call to action, if you’re interested in implementing the Code of Conduct in your city reach out to the Administrative Assistant to the President, Irma Ayers at iayers@floc.com.