Ayọ Tometi, who co-founded Black Lives Matter (BLM) in 2013 with Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors, stated that President Joe Biden’s White House still has “a lot of work to do” and that the Democratic party has “dragged their feet” on topics essential to the group, Newsweek reports.
Biden has advocated for policing and voting rights reformation, but his initiatives have been stymied in Congress, with Republican opposition being a significant barrier owing to the small Democratic majority in each house. Deliberations have erupted around the concept of defunding the police, a word that has generated schisms in opinion across the United States.
Biden claimed in a September message that he will take executive action on police reform to commemorate “the name and memory of George Floyd,” who was murdered during an arrest the year before and provoked significant BLM protests.
“We need legislation to assure enduring and profound change,” Biden continued.
Despite BLM’s national and international influence—Tometi believes it is now the “biggest movement worldwide”—it appears to lack significant contact with individuals in positions of political power in the United States.
Money spent on the military and enforcement could be redirected “to our communities, invest in our communities, invest in the healthcare system, invest in climate justice, invest in our companies,” according to the Black Lives Matter organization.
While campaigners continue to advocate for police resources to be redirected to other areas, public opinion appears to be less sympathetic.
Minneapolis voters denied a request in November that would have replaced the city’s police agency with a new Department of Public Safety.