PSC\CUNY: “The Professional Staff Congress Calls for Defunding the NYPD and Redirecting Resources to Education, Public Health and Other Community Needs.”
The Professional Staff Congress, the union that represents 30,000 faculty and staff at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the CUNY Research Foundation, has issued a call to defund the NYPD.
The following is a memo from the Professional Staff Congress:
The Professional Staff Congress Calls for Defunding the NYPD and Redirecting Resources to Education, Public Health and Other Community Needs.
Whereas, the brutal murder of George Floyd is an egregious instance of racist policing that has claimed numerous Black and Brown lives;
Whereas the vast majority of CUNY students belong to poor communities long targeted by the NYPD;
Whereas, studies have shown that police reforms and training programs aimed at reducing abuses have not altered the consequences of systemic racism in policing;
Whereas, governments typically spend far more on policing than on public health, homeless services, youth services and other vital agencies;
Whereas, in 2019, New York City allocated nearly $6 billion to the NYPD, compared to $1.9 billion for the health department; $2.1 billion for homeless services; $1.4 billion on housing, preservation, and development; $907.3 million on youth and community development; and $73.8 million on workforce development, thus budgeting more on policing than on health, homeless services, youth development, and workforce development combined;
Whereas, Mayor de Blasio’s April budget proposal slashes spending from popular social programs, like summer youth employment, and a staggering $827 million from education, while leaving the police budget largely untouched;
Whereas, 106 organizations, including unions such as locals of UAW and 1199SEIU, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and New York Taxi Workers Alliance have publicly urged Mayor de Blasio and the City Council to defund the NYPD;
Whereas, New York legislators like Julia Salazar, Corey Johnson, Danny Dromm, Scott Stringer, Jumaane Williams, Carlina Rivera, Antonio Reynoso, Ben Kallos, Carlos Menchaca, Brad Lander, and Mark Levine have called for cuts to the NYPD budget;
Whereas, in response to the mass protests in New York city and across the country following the police killing of George Floyd, Mayor de Blasio has announced a shift in funding from the NYPD to youth and social services, a series of police reforms, including moving the enforcement for street vending out of the NYPD to a civilian agency, and adding community ambassadors to the NYPD to serve as liaisons between officers and New Yorkers;
Whereas, while we welcome Mayor de Blasio’s announcement, the proposed cut is only a signal towards a required shift in priorities and must be followed by action and transparency;
Whereas, with the devastation the city has suffered from COVID-19, there is an urgent need to reduce NYPD funding and reallocate the resources in the areas of public health, housing, education, and community needs;
Whereas, the City is better served by a smaller and more transparent and accountable NYPD; therefore be it
Resolved that the PSC calls on Mayor de Blasio and the City Council to defund the NYPD by reducing the NYPD budget by at least one billion dollars and reallocating the funds to resources that have been proven to support poor communities of color like public health, housing, education and youth employment programs;
Resolved that the PSC demands transparency on how much funding the city will cut from the NYPD’s $6 billion annual budget;
Resolved that the PSC calls on Mayor de Blasio and the City Council to make the redirection of NYPD funds a first step in reimagining public safety in New York City and re-creating systems of public safety that would keep all New Yorkers safe;
Resolved that the PSC calls on CUNY to refrain from requesting or approving NYPD presence on CUNY campuses in non-emergency situations and, additionally, revise its 1992 Memorandum of Understanding with the NYPD to eliminate all provisions permitting the NYPD on campus in non-emergency situations;
Resolved that the PSC will bring this resolution to its affiliate bodies, including the Central Labor Council;
Resolved that the PSC calls on the AFL-CIO to end its affiliation with the International Union of Police Associations and that our representatives to the AFL-CIO will initiate the proper procedures for such a discussion in the AFL-CIO as soon as possible.
Approved by the PSC Executive Committee on 6/4/20
Approved as amended by substitution by the Delegates Assembly on 6/25/20