Open Collective
Open Collective
Work In Progress 6.15.22
Published on June 15, 2022 by John Burkhart

UnderRight began as an idea not even one year ago and as an initiative less than six months ago. Like any startup, the various milestones - funding, capacity, credibility - have loomed like a distant mountain range, both massive and distant. I've felt myself bitten by one a typical founder's dilemma - needing the accomplishments to secure funding, but needing the funding to achieve the accomplishments.

The six month mark is a good point to peel my eyes off the horizon and look to the side and, yes, even a bit behind. We've covered some ground. In addition to the constant door knocking and cold calling, UnderRight's theory has been validated by several community stakeholders and experts in policing and insurance. We have formed partnerships with community groups in Denver and Oakland, worked on shareholder resolutions with investment firms, and are currently developing a pilot project with an insurance expert. On top of conducting the research that will form the backbone of UnderRight's theory of change, we've planted several promising seeds for future deliverables.

Sadly, the proof of concept is validated constantly. Below are just a handful of links to highlight how judgments and settlements will only continue to rise as long as policing in America remains the same:

George Floyd protest $14 million payout in Denver sets precedent for future sizable payouts with 29 use of force payouts still pending.

"The data shows that the number and size of settlements have grown precipitously over that time period — from $1.15 million in 2017 to the more than $34 million in 2021, a 2,990% increase. Nearly two-thirds of the total $100 million has been paid since the May 2020 murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis officers renewed outrage over unchecked police brutality and bolstered the Black Lives Matter movement." - Seattle Times story about Washington State's increased payouts for police misconduct.

In the last 2 years, Minneapolis added $51 million to cover misconduct settlements.

Thank you for supporting UnderRight; we look forward to getting closer to those distant mountains and sharing the journey with you.