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Councilmember Jamie Gauthier is taking a national leadership role in rethinking public safety. Photo: Nigel Thompson/AL DÍA News.
Councilmember Jamie Gauthier is taking a national leadership role in rethinking public safety. Photo: Nigel Thompson/AL DÍA News.

Philly Councilmember Jamie Gauthier to serve on national task force reimagining public safety

She will serve on the National League of Cities Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, which local leaders from municipalities across the U.S.

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In 2019, District 3 Councilmember Jamie Gauthier represented a shift of Philadelphia politics in West Philadelphia when she defeated longtime incumbent Jannie Blackwell in the Democratic primary.

Since assuming office in January 2020, Gauthier, along with the rest of her City Council colleagues, have confronted a pandemic, an economic crisis, a further racial reckoning, and a gun violence epidemic that has swept Philadelphia.

On the last two issues, Gauthier has been one of Philadelphia City Council’s most vocal.

In her short time in office, whether it be the killing of Walter Wallace Jr. by Philadelphia police in her district or the constant uptick in gun violence that’s plagued the city, Gauthier has been quick to draw the parallel between fight for public safety and racial justice.

“Public safety is the most urgent and fundamental human need, and it’s the responsibility of government to work with communities in creating that sense of security,” said Gauthier in a recent press release. “Feeling safe on your block is a human right — but between violence at the hands of police and a near-record homicide rate, unfortunately constituents of Philadelphia’s Black and Brown neighborhoods are living in fear.”

Regarding the homicide rate, Gauthier introduced a resolution to City Council back in September 2020 that called on Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to call a citywide emergency for gun violence. 

Last week, Kenney finally announced he would adhere to the resolution’s guidelines.

For her work, Gauthier was recently announced to be selected to serve on the National League of Cities Reimagining Public Safety Task Force alongside 22 other local elected officials from municipalities across the country.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is the nation’s oldest and largest organizations dedicated to helping local elected officials build better communities.

Its Reimagining Public Safety Task Force will meet multiple times over the next couple months to develop a toolkit for local leaders to aid in revamping their approaches to all facets of public safety.

Those facets include reducing jail population, budgeting for public safety, and alternative violence reduction solutions among others.

The task force’s three main goals in the process are to set a modern, 21st century agenda for public safety in America’s communities, pinpoint what works and what doesn’t in public safety, and to amplify local leaders across the country fighting for criminal justice reform and public safety.

In addition to NLC, the task force will work with other nationwide experts in criminal justice reform and public safety from the Vera Institute of Justice, Urban Institute, Cities United, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

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