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How to Talk About Defunding the NYPD
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We encourage you to use these talking points and statistics  to talk to your neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family about how we need to defund the NYPD and invest in our communities! Use them when phone banking and tabling for the DSA for the City slate as well. To defund the police and win investments in our communities, we need to educate, agitate, and popularize these demands!

I. Overarching Principles

  • Justice for Black lives means investing in communities, but here in NYC, schools, hospitals, housing and social services go underfunded while billions are spent on the NYPD.

  • This campaign is about our priorities as a city. Do we protect the rich and cater to cops, or invest in the health, safety, and well-being of all New Yorkers? 

  • We believe in a city where we respond to crimes of poverty, mental health and drug issues, and other challenges with care and compassion, not cuffs and cages.

  • Policing isn’t about safety, it’s about control. The police protect the rich and their property. Police do not actually prevent violent crime from occurring, nor do they effectively mitigate the effects of its aftermath. They maintain inequality through racist harrassment, surveillance, and outright brutality. Police make us less safe, not more. 

  • Real safety and justice comes from investing in services and infrastructure that improve the quality of people’s lives: good jobs, dignified housing, healthcare, childcare, elder care, mental healthcare, education, transit, food security, and free time for culture and community.

  • We are calling for an immediate, dramatic reversal of York City’s priorities, but in the long term, we are fighting for a society where working people have everything we need to keep ourselves safe, and we can abolish all systems of policing and punishment.

II. Defund the NYPD

The City Council must cut the NYPD budget and police force by 50% and freeze all new hiring and overtime to free up money for working class communities. Immediately remove police from our schools, mental health and drug use response, subways, homeless "outreach”, public shelters and hospitals. 

III. Defund other systems of violence and punishment

Halt the construction of new jails, demand the closure of Rikers, jails, prisons, and juvenile detention facilities. Defund by 50% and freeze all new hiring and overtime in budgets for prosecutors’ offices, family surveillance and separation, and other violence-based responses to poverty. Ban all local cooperation with ICE and prohibit city resources from being used to aid immigration enforcement.

IV. Resist austerity

Until the NYPD is halved, there must be no discussion of public sector layoffs, public worker benefit cuts, or further cutting of services. We demand the reversal of all previous service cuts and systemic under-investments in our communities. 

V. Invest in communities

The City Council must invest money divested from police, courts, jails and other systems of surveillance and punishment in our communities, where it will fund programs that keep New Yorkers safe and well, instead of subjecting them to violence and criminalization.  Immediately replace all criminal punishment interventions with fully funded community-based models of safety. Invest in robust public health and community services. Fund good jobs, dignified housing, healthcare, child and elder care, mental healthcare, education, transit, food security, and free time for culture and community.

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