We know our communities are safe and can thrive when we have housing, healthcare, living wages, high quality education, and public transit, and the resources and community-based services we need. That’s what New York City should be spending its money on — NOT the NYPD.
When we say we want to defund the NYPD, we don’t want their funding to disappear into thin air — we demand that it is re-invested into our communities.
As an abolitionist organizer working to end policing, incarceration and surveillance, and to create lasting alternatives, I know that “defund the police” is not just a slogan- or even the end goal. It is a strategic demand that gets us even closer to our mission of abolishing police and prisons. Yes, “defund the police” is a rallying cry, reminding us that we are deserving of a world without cops. But it is also a concrete step towards abolition. It is up to us to fight for that world every chance we get.
— K Agbebiyi, @sheabutterfemme
Ending police violence starts with significant and effective cuts to the NYPD's budget. Over the last few weeks, thousands of New Yorkers have shown up in the streets, called and emailed their Council Members and demanded that we defund the NYPD and invest in communities — by AT LEAST $1 billion this year. Years of organizing by activists and advocates have gotten us to this critical moment.
With mere days until the June 30th deadline for a final budget, the City Council announced that they “can and should work to get $1 billion in cuts” to the NYPD this year. While this is a win, and a step in the right direction, we are nowhere near done with this fight yet. In fact, it is time to fight harder for deeper, meaningful, and more transparent cuts- and to ensure that money gets invested back in New York’s communities.
We need to be clear on what we’re asking for, and hold our electeds accountable for it. And we need to ask them to vote no on a budget that doesn’t deliver what the people demand.
We demand that the Speaker release the Council’s proposed cuts immediately to allow for public review and complete transparency.
We demand the police (operating) budget be cut by half ($3B) and the headcount of uniformed officers be cut by half to truly address police violence.
We demand an end to police response to issues that could be transitioned to community workers, and demand all officers and NYPD employees be removed from schools, mental health response and co-response teams, homeless outreach, neighborhood disputes, transit, and subways.
We demand that the City redirect the billions that go to police departments toward providing health care, housing, social services, schools, childcare and eldercare, and programs that benefit Black people, that would create less need for police in the first place.
We demand a fully transparent NYPD budget that is accessible to the public. It is unacceptable that there are large swaths of the NYPD budget unavailable to anyone.
We demand that these cuts remain in place for future fiscal years, and not just as a ‘austerity budget’ measure. These cuts to the NYPD are in the interest of community safety and the well being of Black people, not just savings for the City during this fiscal crisis.