Flag of the District of Columbia (Courtesy of dpw.dc.gov)
Flag of the District of Columbia (Courtesy of dpw.dc.gov)

Rev. Dr. Kip Bernard Banks Sr.

As a pastor and faith leader deeply rooted in the community, I find myself compelled to lend my voice in support of the pending Secure DC Omnibus legislation, even as I acknowledge that certain aspects may not resonate with everyone. Our city, like any other, faces challenges that demand courageous and comprehensive solutions. The Secure DC Omnibus, with its multifaceted interventions, addresses the urgent need to grapple with the unacceptable level of crime and violence undermining the safety of our neighborhoods.

At the heart of my endorsement is a fervent desire to safeguard our community, with a particular focus on our seniors who deserve to live their golden years in peace. The legislation’s commitment to victim protection, including enhanced measures for senior citizens, aligns with our shared responsibility to ensure their well-being. As a faith leader, I believe in the inherent dignity of every individual, and we must collectively work to create an environment where everyone, especially our elders feel safe and valued.

We are at an inflection point with public safety in our community. And while we may not all agree on every detail of this legislation, we can all agree that it is time to prioritize the safety of our community and justice for victims 鈥 and those who could become victims 鈥 over those who bring violence to our streets and neighborhoods.

Moreover, the legislation’s focus on pretrial detention and accountability sends a clear message that violence is unacceptable. As a community, we must assert our commitment to the sanctity of life and collective accountability. We need to make it unequivocally clear that we believe in the potential for positive change, even for those who have committed crimes. The legislation’s provision for creating opportunities for rehabilitation aligns with our commitment to offering better choices and options for those seeking a way out of a life of crime.

In supporting the Secure DC Omnibus, I’m not only advocating for legislative measures but also affirming our belief in the resilience and potential of our city and its people. We must learn to live together in peace, fostering an environment where each resident feels secure and valued. By standing united in our commitment to a safer D.C., we embody the spirit of compassion, accountability and “the beloved community.”

As a person of faith, I am called to be a steward of justice and peacemaking. I support this legislation not because it is perfect, but because I believe it is a step towards realizing our shared vision of a city where all residents can live, work, and thrive without fear. Together, let us build a Secure DC rooted in compassion, justice, and the belief that our collective strength can overcome the challenges that threaten the well-being of our beloved community.

Yours in hope and faith,

Rev. Dr. Kip Bernard Banks Sr.

East Washington Heights Baptist Church

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