Tuesday, June 16, 2020. New York City – I have been covering rallies and marches for the last two weeks. Protestors want NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Council members to cut the NYPD budget by at least one billion.
Take action. Demand Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council members and Council Speaker Corey Johnson defund at least $1 billion from the NYPD and reinvest in low income communities.
Communities United for Police Reform said in a press release, “The pandemic, uprising and collective national cry that Black Lives Matter create an opportunity for New York City to reimagine safety without relying on police, and the movement led by Communities United for Police Reform demands that we redefine what safety means to prioritize housing and food for all, income supports, environmental and transportation justice, and much more. New Yorkers must continue to protest, march, and call their City Councilmembers and Mayor de Blasio to let them know that we won’t settle for less than $1 billion in NYPD cuts – and that these funds must be reinvested in real community health and safety in the neighborhoods devastated by both the pandemic and violent policing – our Black, Latinx and other communities of color. This is not a time to let up, it’s a time to ensure that we are calling for the boldest cuts possible to the NYPD so that there is an equitable recovery and future for all New Yorkers.”
TAKE ACTION. Call, email and tweet your Council member and Bill de Blasio. Click the link for more info: https://www.changethenypd.org/nycbudgetjustice/takeaction
“The call for defunding the police and reinvesting in community needs is taking hold across the country and in New York. We urge New Yorkers and allies from across the country to help us make the NYPD – the largest and most militarized police force in the United States – an example. Last week the New York City Council proposed a $1 billion divestment from the NYPD. Mayor de Blasio has acknowledged the need to decrease the NYPD’s $6 billion budget, but quickly shot down the Council’s proposal.
We have two weeks before the NYC budget is finalized – two weeks to dramatically reduce the NYPD by at least $1 billion and reinvest those resources into ending our city’s historic homelessness and overdose crises, and growing income inequality. We need more affordable and supportive housing, quality rental assistance programs, and housing specialists to get homeless New Yorkers back into permanent housing. We need a workforce to respond to the needs of people who use drugs, more wrap-around harm reduction services, and increased access to lifesaving evidence-based treatment to end overdose in New York.
The fight won’t end here. Our city must begin to reimagine what public safety means. This begins by identifying all the social problems that have been policed–like homelessness, drug use, mental health, and poverty–rather than solved through community investments. It means total repeal of the long list of laws that only serve to criminalize poverty, the full decriminalization of drugs, and investing in care over incarceration and policing. And, it means the immediate demilitarizing of police, and consequences for police departments and individual officers who do harm to people and communities.
Lastly, next Tuesday, June 23rd at 5PM we’ll be taking action at City Hall — click here to RSVP! Join us in-person or online for a protest to defund the NYPD and invest in communities – one week before the city budget is finalized on Tuesday, June 30th. Please bring masks and a commitment to personal steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We will provide masks for those who need them.
Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY) is a statewide grassroots membership organization that builds power among low-income people affected by HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, the drug war, homelessness, and mass incarceration in order to create healthy and just communities. We accomplish this through community organizing, leadership development, public education, direct services, participatory research and direct action.
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