FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2021
The world was cracked wide open when George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020. Brother George’s Spirit joined thousands whose lives have been stolen by state violence, including many right here in Los Angeles – like Wakiesha Wilson, Kenney Watkins, Jesse Romero, Grechario Mack, Albert Ramon Dorsey, Brendon Glenn and countless more. Hundreds-of-thousands of Angelenos took to the streets with a clear policy demand: #DefundThePolice and #ReimaginePublicSafety by investing in people and communities, not police.
This is not a “justice budget” as the mayor calls it. This is yet another police state budget.
Instead of honoring the will of the people, Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved Mayor Garcetti’s budget, which increases the LAPD budget by $39 million, giving police more money than ever before. This comes at a time when three “independent” reports, a lawsuit, and numerous media exposés point to LAPD as having abused power, brutalized community members, profiled Black people, and failed even at their stated mission. This is not a “justice budget” as the mayor calls it. This is yet another police state budget that diverts critical funds away from the community which could otherwise be used to imagine and build approaches that actually keep people safe: housing, jobs, youth programs, parks, community centers, food security, public health programs, and much more.
The People’s Budget LA coalition denounces Mayor Garcetti’s and LA City Council’s budget.
Deep racial inequities and economic inequalities have been further exposed by the pandemic. As Los Angeles emerges from lockdown, it is more important than ever before to invest in Black communities, and those who are most impacted by COVID-19 and its economic fallout. It is outrageous that Mayor Garcetti set forth the 2021-2022 budget while refusing to engage Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles (BLMLA), running from the People’s Budget LA Coalition (PBLA), and ignoring the Black LA Demands, while co-opting the language of the movement and blaspheming George Floyd’s name.
The People’s Budget LA coalition denounces Mayor Garcetti’s and LA City Council’s budget. There is still an opportunity to do the right thing: reject the mayor’s increase to LAPD, refuse to increase the size of the police force, and invest in Black communities through Black-led organizations. The budget can be amended at any time; the time is now. To strengthen our communities, uplift our most vulnerable community members, and fortify new systems of public safety, People’s Budget LA calls on city leaders to divest from the racist system of policing and investing in people and communities. The PBLA report should serve as a guide; prioritize spending for universal human needs, the built environment, and transformational approaches to justice – and defund the police.
The People’s Budget LA Coalition is led by Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles