We are asking City Councilors across Washington to engage in a complete re-envisioning of what public safety means for our communities, beginning with these actions:
- We know that large governmental budget cuts are coming on every level due to the economic impact of COVID. Protect health, housing, and other essential human services from upcoming cuts. During a health crisis, these services are absolutely essential. When cuts do need to be made, take it from police budgets first.
- Ban the purchase and use of chemical weapons, rubber bullets, and other advanced/military weaponry and gear. Use the money saved in this manner for equipment for healthcare workers and other community services.
- Stop relying on the police to be front line substance abuse and mental health workers. Take the funding they are currently using to do this work and give it to community-directed and explicitly anti-racist systems of crisis intervention.
- Following Minneapolis and other cities as an example, investigate what public safety can look like without police. Prioritize listening to marginalized community members, especially BIPOC, disabled, trans, houseless, sex workers, and survivors of police violence. If we were to design public safety from scratch today, it would not look anything like what the police force has become.
In other words: disarm, defund, and disband the police