Las Vegas Democratic Socialists of America Censures LVDSA Member and Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom for a Bloated Police Budget, Enabling Routine Police Violence

July 18, 2023 | Press Release
Las Vegas Democratic Socialists of America

During its annual convention on July 8th, the Las Vegas chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (LVDSA) voted to censure LVDSA member and Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom for a bloated police budget as well as enabling routine police violence.

LVDSA is committed to uplifting the struggle of the working-class in social, economic, and political revolution, fighting to win a world organized and governed by and for the vast majority.

We observe Commissioner Segerblom, an elected representative and chapter member, consistently voting in favor of increased police and corrections funding year after year, including a 9.6%, $69M increase FY 2023-2024.

The Commissioner suggests, if not actively coordinates, increased policing in his district, specifically as a solution to the utterly American phenomenon of thousands of people without shelter in the wealthiest county in the history of the planet. The County and Commissioner Segerblom are cruel to deny unhoused people access to the same public spaces other human beings enjoy, in the near absence of any meaningful political will to solve what is a purely political housing crisis.

Officials increased LVMPD’s budget 37% since 2017 despite a 22% increase in use of force during the same period. 43% of LVMPD’s use of force targeted Black residents who are only 12.6% of the county, obviously indicating a consistent, historical pattern of racist policing. The Commissioner’s Ward E includes neighborhoods where there is a high concentration and largely disproportionate rate of imprisonment of Clark County residents.

DSA’s national platform affirms “incarceration, detention and policing are active instruments of class war which guarantee domination and reproduce racial inequalities” as well as poverty and mass violence. Police violence is a public health crisis, the American Public Health Association advocates the abolition of policing and prisons as we know it. The summer of rebellion of 2020 in response to police brutality and the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Tayler–among so many more–was the largest social movement in the history of the United States. Increased police/corrections funding directly contradicts the principles and platform of DSA and LVDSA, undermining a more just and equitable society.

Excessive funding solely allocated to policing perpetuates a system that diverts resources from other services and reduces the quality of life for many. Our chapter, as a grassroots democratic organization, has a responsibility to practice accountability among elected and non-elected members alike, to promote our collective platform and liberation.

LVDSA hereby censures Commissioner Segerblom for routinely voting for increased funding, enabling police violence and undermining our values as a chapter. LVDSA expresses its deep disappointment and disapproval of the failure to zealously defend the well-being of those in his district, specifically the most vulnerable who are unhoused or experiencing debilitating mental health.

LVDSA will inform and invite the community into reparative action, including the Commissioner, through statements, forums, and collaboration with organizations/collectives advocating for decarceration, decriminalization, and community-led public safety alternatives.

LVDSA members, elected or not, should promote the abolition of punitive, carceral public policy, and uphold our commitment to a different society based on mutual reciprocity, where crime is prevented by meeting basic needs, ameliorating misery, and promoting the inherent dignity of caring for one another.

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