July 2, 2020, New York — In response to the New York City budget that was passed by the City Council July 1, the Center for Constitutional Rights released the following statement:
It is unconscionable that in a city with a $9 billion dollar deficit, the burden of the mismanagement of public resources should continue to fall on the shoulders of its Black, Brown, immigrant, and low-income communities. Year after year, city officials have caved to pressure from a bloated and overreaching police department. In the midst of twin pandemics — coronavirus and racist police brutality — the NYPD has failed to prioritize the needs of all New Yorkers and demonstrated a fundamental indifference to the plight of the city’s most vulnerable residents. This latest smoke-and-mirrors budgeting, shuffling $1 billion dollars from the NYPD to school policing, is a disturbing reminder of the city’s commitment to criminalizing its Black and Brown youth, further legitimizing the school-to-prison pipeline.
We continue to support calls to defund and dissolve the NYPD and to invest in community needs, such as public education, robust municipal and social services, citywide infrastructure, free access to public transportation, affordable housing, fully-funded healthcare systems, and bolstered community-controlled resources. The needs of marginalized communities, many of whom are frontline workers, must be central in any legitimate discussion of distribution of public wealth. We know that our communities are safe not when our neighborhoods are violently policed by armed occupying forces, but when people are properly supported, when needs are met, and when historical inequities are addressed.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.