Current Mood

black lives matter

I love this cartoon by one of my favorite artists, Elisabeth McNair. It definitely represents my current mood.

For anyone that missed last week’s blog post, you can click here. As a continuation of that blog post, I wanted to add a little information about defunding the police. It’s the latest hot topic, and it’s not as scary or drastic as some people think. I see so many people reacting to the idea negatively that haven’t researched it. They are reacting to something they don’t understand. It simply means shifting some of the police budget into social services.

Below are examples of how New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are already moving in that direction.

The Los Angeles Police Department was set to receive a large increase in its annual budget from $1.189 billion last year to $1.86 billion (most of the budget increases were for new police bonuses) for 2020-2021. Mayor Eric Garcetti has now decided to cut $100-$150 million from that budget to invest in youth jobs and health initiatives that serve the community.

Mayor London Breed announced that San Francisco officers will stop responding to non-criminal activities such as disputes between neighbors, reports about homeless people and school discipline interventions as part of a police reform plan. Officers would be replaced by trained, unarmed professionals to limit unnecessary confrontation between the police department and the community.

In New York, more than 40 city council candidates are calling for a $1 billion cut to the NYPD’s $6 billion budget over four years to help fund other programs such as the city’s summer youth employment program. New York state Senator Julia Salazar said, “I think we need to consider a divest/invest model. When we look at their resources, and how they’re deploying them violently and recklessly, it makes the case even stronger for reducing their budget, and then using those funds for social services…”

Think about it this way, what are your values? Do you want to invest in youth jobs, community centers, rehabilitation programs and health services? Or more policing, and continuing with what is in place currently that obviously isn’t working? Which plan sounds like a sensible and sustainable approach to you?

(The topic continues in the comment section below.)

8 Comments

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8 responses to “Current Mood

  1. Deb

    I choose Option 1. Thanks again Aimee for staying on this. xoxoxoxoxox

  2. Kim

    They really need to come up with a better term instead of “defunding”. Restructure, redistribute, reform, transform the funding something that explains the changes that need to happen. Camden NJ has done a great job of changing to “community based policing”. The time has come!

    • I agree! I hope it all gets explained and relabeled soon, so more people can support it.

      I just read these quotes in The Artist’s Way (written by Julia Cameron, popular book in the 1990s), “We are taught to believe that negative equals realistic and positive equals unrealistic.” and “What we are after is the healing of old wounds — not the creation of new ones.” The book is about artists, but it made me think about what’s going on in our country.

      Defunding the police (be it redirecting part of the police budget or abolishing the need for policing altogether) sounds absolutely crazy and unrealistic to many. But the point is to create a society that doesn’t lean on policing to solve its problems, but takes full responsibility for where and how it went terribly wrong — and diligently works to correct that.

      Investing in underserved communities, figuring out the best way to help people and working together to heal trauma is one step in the right direction. I am all for it. :) I hope the momentum continues to build. The future really does depend on it.

  3. Khalid

    I love how you worded that last paragraph. It gives us only choice #1 as an option sane person would choose. And I agree with you.
    I’d heard the rates of people being murdered by police officers reduced drastically in Brazil, after they started charging the officers something like 1000 dollars per bullet.

  4. Dwayne Shaw

    Thanks Aimee. I think framing it this way (Do your want to invest in youth jobs, community centers, rehabilitation programs and health services? Or more policing, and continuing with what is in place currently that obviously isn’t working?) is wise for folks who may not immediately see the value or oppose defunding.

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