June 29, 2020
For Immediate Release
June 28, 2020
Contact: Jawanza Williams 917-488-4961 / firstname.lastname@example.org
VOCAL-NY Slams Reported Budget Deal of Cost Shifting & Manipulation of Defund NYPD Demand
Calls Budget Proposal a Stark Betrayal and Demands Council Members Turn it Down
New York, NY — The proposed budget deal between Mayor Bill de Blasio & Speaker Corey Johnson, as outlined by Politico and confirmed by the Mayor today, is a total betrayal of a movement, led primarily by young Black people, that has swept across the country landing directly in front of City Hall where the demands for community investment and for a reduction of police power and resources could not be more clear.
Earlier this week we raised concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability from the Council and the Mayor and these fears have been thoroughly justified.
We said then: Cost shifting from NYPD to other agencies, will not be accepted. Manipulation of our demands will not be accepted. Counting fringe, pension and capital delays, or any other attempts to water down what the movement is asking for, will not be accepted. Instead, this is exactly what’s happening and we will not be fooled. This plan includes the HIRING of ~1200 new cops this year.
For weeks, New Yorkers have been calling to cut AT LEAST $1 billion from the NYPD’s expense budget, this year, to be redirected to community reinvestment. Earlier this month, Communities United for Police Reform released a policy report detailing the steps New York City could take to get there.
New York City must eliminate the NYPD’s role in homeless services, schools, youth programs, overdose response, mental health response and other social services and redirect those savings to housing, healthcare & social services that will be crucial to equitable COVID-19 recovery for Black, Latinx and other communities of color.
The deal as described does nothing close, preserving police resources and power — with not a single layoff among NYPD’s uniformed cops — and continues the Mayor’s initial budget proposal to starve the communities left devastated by the coronavirus crisis, the same communities targeted by historical and current police abuse.
This is a moment for decisive, moral action rooted in a clear understanding of history, structural racism and systemic inequality. The pandemic has starkly revealed and exacerbated every measure of inequality in New York City, including abusive policing in communities of color.
It’s not surprising that Black, Latinx and other communities of color have been hit hardest by the devastation of coronavirus-related deaths, COVID-19 infections, loss of employment and income, lack of stable housing, food insecurity, and brutal police violence during the pandemic.
NYC government has largely defunded key needs in Black, Latinx and other communities of color for years, while taxpayer dollars to policing have only grown.