FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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In response to the New York City Council's vote to approve the City's FY22 budget, the Justice Committee released the following statement from Executive Director Loyda Colon:
The New York City Council’s passage of the City’s FY22 budget today is yet another example of how little NYC government cares about the lives and wellbeing of New Yorkers, especially poor and low-income New Yorkers of color. The NYC Council also chose to ignore families members of New Yorkers killed by the police who called upon council members to vote NO to increasing funding to the NYPD. Neither Speaker Corey Johnson, Mayor de Blasio nor a single council member should be congratulating themselves for passing a budget that expands the NYPD’s already bloated budget - including adding 200 new positions that are nothing but a public relations ploy - while failing to provide the resources we need for community health and safety. Black, Latinx and other communities of color were suffering from divestment, displacement, and inadequate housing, healthcare and education far before the coronavirus first landed in New York City. Returning to pre-pandemic levels of funding for crucial services and infrastructure is merely a return to the inadequate, racist status quo. We commend Councilmembers Barron, Lander, Reynoso and Van Bramer for standing with the families, New Yorkers and the movement by voting NO. All others have shown their true colors. Today’s budget vote proves that the Mayor, Speaker and vast majority of the council value their own political ambitions over the lives of Black, Latinx and other New Yorkers of color and are unable to think outside the box of the failed premise that safety comes from over-policing and locking people up. We share the widespread concern about rising levels of crime and violence. Investing in non-police anti-violence initiatives and ensuring our communities have the services and infrastructure we need to survive and thrive is the only way to successfully address these issues. We also condemn the anti-democratic lack of transparency in this year’s budget process. It’s outrageous that New Yorkers did not know when the budget vote would happen until the day before it happened and most budget documents were not made publicly available. It’s unfortunate that Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, and the City Council only pretend to care when NYC and the country are burning, as we saw in 2020. Make no mistake, it is this lack of regard for the people they are supposedly meant to serve that led to the uprisings last year and what will lead to the same and more as New Yorkers grow more and more tired of the abuse, inequity and being thrown scraps. New Yorkers deserve better! We are calling on all New Yorkers to join us in the continued fight for #NYCBudgetJustice and true community safety. The NYPD - which has always served the purpose of protecting the property and interests of the white elite and the racist-capitalist state - will not bring us safety. Addressing inequity and meeting people’s needs is what will. And if NYC politicians don’t listen and if replacing them doesn’t work, it is our right and duty to discard a system that does not work for our people and build a new one that is rooted in the health and wellness of all New Yorkers.