Three Key Issues
Secure Families Initiative fights for foreign and domestic policies that prioritize peace and diplomacy. To achieve our policy goals, we organize and train a diverse and representative base of military partners and family members to educate policy makers, motivate our community, and vote in every election.
Decisions over War and Peace
The problem: Protracted conflicts abroad directly cause harm to the people we love, exacerbating many of the challenges facing the military community and the diverse neighborhoods we live in.
It is imperative that the United States disentangle itself from endless wars, demilitarize its relationships with rising powers, and reprioritize caring for those who have served here at home.
Additionally, the process of Authorizing the Use of Military Force should be maximally deliberative, transparent, and respectful of constitutional war powers. If our loved ones are called upon to demonstrate the ultimate bounds of their service, we want to feel confident in the necessity and justness of that decision.
How SFI will solve the problem: We will strengthen the collective voices of diverse military families, mobilizing an active and influential constituency in national security decision-making. We will advocate for diplomacy-first policies to avoid costly and unnecessary wars of choice, while defending veteran and family services.
Demilitarize Domestic Police Forces
The problem: U.S. police forces have grown increasingly militarized over recent years. This costs valuable resources, decreases trust in servicemembers, and causes harm to Americans, especially in communities of color.
One of the most direct overlaps between military families and the movement to reform policing in America is the Pentagon’s 1033 program, which allows the Department of Defense (DoD) to transfer excess military-grade weapons and equipment to local police departments across the country.
We know this is problematic for several reasons: The 1033 program has eroded military-civilian relations, as the lines between police and military actions blurred. This equipment is regularly used against First Amendment protestors, and there are dangerous outcomes when weapons of war are used in our streets, especially for communities of color.
How SFI will solve the problem: We will organize to pass policies that demilitarize domestic law enforcement to stop the disproportionate violence done to Black and Brown communities.
Expand the Military Vote & Defend Democracy
The problem: Military service members and their families deserve a say in the decisions that so dramatically affect our lives. But our current system of voting remains inaccessible for many in our community. We face logistical barriers to voting, such as frequent moves, overseas assignments, and confusion over where and how to register.
These challenges are compounded by active voter suppression and institutionalized racism that disproportionately impacts military families of color. The result is decreased political power of our community and unrepresentative government.
How SFI will solve the problem: We will increase our political power by educating, registering and turning out a network of diverse and representative military voters in all elections. We will defend democracy and free and fair elections by advocating for federal and state policies to increase accessibility for absentee voters, register military affiliated and disenfranchised voters, and participate in nonpartisan GOTV efforts. Because safe access to the ballot box is a national security priority, now more than ever.
Be In the Know
We will achieve our policy goals by organizing and training a diverse and representative base of military partners and family organizers to expand our impact on the foreign and domestic policies that affect our lives. The first step is to learn more about our policy goals. To that end, SFI has compiled fact-based explainers on our core and related issues. Give these a read — and let us know if there’s another topic you’d like us to research!