People’s Budget LA: Defunding the Police Means Replacing Them with Non-Violent Responders


People’s Budget LA, a coalition of activist groups led by Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles (BLM-LA), welcomes the actions of the Los Angeles City Council today in taking meaningful steps toward reimagining what public safety can look like in Los Angeles.

Today’s Council vote to approve the motion brought forward by Councilmembers Wesson, Martinez, Harris-Dawson, Price, Blumenfield, and O’Farrell to deploy unarmed, non-law enforcement response teams for non-violent calls for service is an encouraging step in the right direction. We look forward to continuing to work with elected officials brave enough to stand up to the narrow interests of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

We also applaud Councilmembers Harris-Dawson, Bonin, Price, and Wesson for introducing an additional motion to end persecution of Angelenos for “Driving While Black.” Traffic stops by the LAPD are inherently racist, with Black drivers being 4 times more likely to be searched than white drivers, and these encounters with law enforcement often escalate with truly tragic consequences. Removing the LAPD from traffic enforcement has the potential, if done correctly, to truly transform the lives of millions of Angelenos. 

Systematically diminishing the role of the police in our everyday lives is an effective mechanism for achieving our goal of defunding the police and reimagining public safety. We look forward to seeing more expansive motions introduced by elected officials in the coming fiscal year that build upon these first courageous steps.

LOS ANGELES — A coalition of activists organizing under the name People’s Budget LA have recognized the steps taken by the Los Angeles City Council to listen to the demands of the people of Los Angeles and take steps toward creating a city with a dramatically diminished role for police and expanded appropriate services for its residents.

“Rolling back police functions has the potential to have a far greater impact on advancing the call to defund the police than approving a meager cut of $150 million from the $3.15 billion LAPD budget as proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti,” said Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles. “Creating community driven solutions that reimagine public safety is how we build a safer world for our children and our communities. This is how we get free.”

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