Communities Are Demanding Budget Investment In Communities–Not Policing

Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed budget has been heavily criticized and condemned by community members across the city

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Thursday, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) released its budget report, Creating Safe and Vibrant Communities for all New Yorkers, a community-driven rebuke of the mayor’s proposed FY23 budget.

Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed budget has been heavily criticized and condemned by community members across the city for continuing regressive and failed policing patterns of the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations and further bloating the NYPD budget while crucial community services receive comparatively microscopic investments. According to CPR’s budget report, the mayor is proposing the largest-ever NYPD budget – $11.2 billion, with minuscule investments in community-led violence prevention and intervention solutions that actually work.

CPR member leader, Ixele Akinmowo-Simon of Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) said, “The mayor’s proposed budget makes the same mistakes of previous administrations, but at a moment when New York City is slowly emerging from a three-year public health catastrophe. As we face the aftermath of the pandemic and the imminence of a recession, the mayor is proposing the largest police budget of all time, flooding our communities with police rather than the resources New Yorkers so desperately need during this recovery. A city’s budget is its moral document and shows how that city cares for its people, and it’s clear Mayor Adams cares more about investing in police than communities.”

In response to the mayor’s executive FY23 budget, CPR released its budget report outlining several areas in the NYPD budget where City Council should cut, and where they think the city should invest in. This year, Communities United for Police Reform’s NYC Budget Justice campaign is once again calling for at least a $1 billion cut from the NYPD budget to be redirected to non-police community safety solutions, like community-led violence prevention and intervention programs, health and mental health care, overdose prevention services, housing, jobs and youth programming.

Of the report release, CPR spokesperson Keli Young of VOCAL-NY said, “The council has an opportunity to negotiate a budget that can drastically change the trajectory of our city by investing in resources that support strong and thriving communities. We ask that the council takes bold and courageous steps by cutting at least $1 billion from the bloated NYPD budget and instead allocate that money into public services. We know that the safest communities are those with the most resources, not those with the most police. Community investments will make our communities safer now and in the long term.”

In addition to the $1 billion in funding cuts for the NYPD, CPR’s Budget Justice campaign is also demanding more transparency in the NYPD budget and calling for the elimination of regressive policing tactics, including ending abusive, rebranded anti-crime units; putting a halt to NYPD homeless encampment sweeps and the NYPD’s mental health co-response teams, and stopping units like the NYPD Strategic Response Group and Vice Squad.

CPR’s Budget Report is available in full here.

“By increasing the NYPD’s budget to its highest ever, Mayor Adam’s executive budget promotes a failed, abusive approach to public safety that will only enhance a system of poverty that has already been amplified by the pandemic,” London Arnold, Organizer for the Justice Committee. “A truly transformative approach would end NYC’s reliance on over-policing and criminalization and include historic levels of investment in a new mental healthcare system that is community-based, culturally competent, and non-coercive, non-law enforcement anti-violence programs, year-round job opportunities for youth and adults, guidance counselors and restorative justice programs in schools and truly affordable housing for all.”

“We understand that a loss of community-led social support, connectedness, and mentorship contribute to violence in Red Hook. Increased policing will not change that violence,” Obi Afriyie, Public Safety Organizer, Red Hook Initiative. “We see that Police interrupt community-building for young adults. Red Hook is a neighborhood with sparse educational resources, employment opportunities, quality health care centers, and is even a food desert. Increasing the NYPD budget will not remedy any of those issues. Community Reinvestment is at the heart of public safety. Funding needs to be given to programs like SYEP, spaces like community recreation centers, and most importantly to our Public Housing NYCHA communities.”

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.

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