Since 2017, Catalyst California has been a member of the Alliance for Community Transit-Los Angeles, a cross-sector coalition that works to improve affordable housing, public transit, and community safety without reliance on law enforcement.
Through our advocacy, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors created a Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) in 2020 tasked with developing community-based safety solutions on public transit.
Anisha Hingorani, Associate Director Equity in Community Investments and Chauncee Smith, Senior Manager of Criminal Justice and a member of PSAC, along with ACT LA partners were able to secure numerous noteworthy public policy victories, including the following:
- $122 Million for Transit Ambassadors: Under this landmark pilot program, a new Transit Ambassadors role will be established to provide a welcoming presence to public transit riders and serve as a safety intermediary that decreases Metro’s reliance on law enforcement agencies.
- New Mission and Vision for Safety on Metro: This shifts the overall trajectory away from over-reliance on law enforcement towards an approach that centers care-based services and supports and creates a holistic ecosystem of non-law enforcement alternatives to safety.
- Phasing-Out Almost $1 Billion in Contracted Law Enforcement Services: Last fall, PSAC voted to phase out the multi-agency law enforcement contract and reinvest those public funds in transit ambassadors, enhanced cleaning, elevator attendants, homeless outreach crisis, and alternative mental health responders.
- Preventing High-Tech Racial Profiling: After successfully elevating concerns with Metro’s proposed intelligence gathering framework, PSAC voted to oppose Metro’s use of predictive policing technologies, and in support of a Bias-Free Policing Policy.
- Eliminating Racially Biased Criminalization: PSAC passed a comprehensive set of recommendations that would eliminate Metro’s Code of Conduct as another method of criminalizing low-income riders of color and subjected them to economically extractive fees and fines.
For any questions or comments regarding these victories, please contact Anisha Hingorani at AHingorani@catalystcalifornia.org or Chauncee Smith at CSmith@catalystcalifornia.org