NYC Budget Justice Campaign Reacts to FY23 Budget, Call for Bolder Future Investments
On June 13, 2022, the New York City Council voted to pass the FY23 city budget. The budget included the largest NYPD spending allocation ever, at over $11B. Our call for deep investments in community safety solutions went ignored, and the council missed an opportunity to invest in real solutions that would do more for communities. There were also concerns about cuts to housing and education, further divesting from Black, Latinx, and other communities of color.
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and the NYC Budget Justice Coalition have been calling for transparency in the NYPD Budget, and this year we won a small but important victory in that fight. As part of the FY23 budget’s terms and conditions, NYPD precincts will have to report more specific data on overtime spending to the city council, finally bringing some transparency to the NYPD’s oversized overtime budget. However, for this new data to lead to any meaningful reform, councilmembers must use their oversight powers and pursue accountability for NYPD overspending.
In response to the City Council’s adoption of the FY23 budget, Communities United for Police Reform released the following statement from CPR spokesperson Darian X (he/him):
“This year, our Budget Justice Coalition along with New Yorkers from across the city were calling for significant cuts to the NYPD spending and for bold investments in culturally competent, community-centered services and programs that we know will make our city safer. This budget failed to deliver on both fronts. After decades of city budgets that have taken away and underfunded critical services and programs, our communities need radical investments into systems that help us live, combat generational inequity, and help our neighborhoods thrive. We need to invest in systems of care that approach community safety with compassion, dignity, and respect for the lived experiences of those most vulnerable.
“This year, the NYPD’s budget will continue to be an oversized portion of the city’s budget, which will result in more police flooding our neighborhoods and the continuation of failed, abusive policing tactics. While the council pats themselves on the back for merely restoring already insufficient community investments, the already bloated NYPD was given its largest budget ever. We demand deep cuts in the NYPD budget because we know that police do not prevent violence, they don’t keep us safe. We needed vision and bold investments, and instead, we are getting more of the same: criminalization and over-policing.
“The City Council budget does take a small step forward on bringing more transparency to the NYPD budget by requiring precincts to report overtime spending over the next year. However, this will only lead to meaningful change if the council uses its power to hold the NYPD fiscally responsible for its habitual overspending.
"The Council needs to look to the communities for solutions instead of funding police that harm and abuse us. We are going to continue to make our voices heard, demanding bolder funding for the programs that allow us to grow and thrive.”
New Yorkers deserve to have our tax dollars devoted to meeting the needs of our communities, not to criminalizing them. Yet, every year, taxpayers are forced to shell out millions of dollars to pay the salaries of officers who kill and brutalize New Yorkers. Despite lauded campaign promises, Mayor Eric Adams has yet to take any significant action towards police accountability in spite of New Yorkers’ clear demands to fire the officers who killed Delrawn Small, Allan Feliz, Kawaski Trawick, Antonion Williams, and Eric Garner. In stark contradiction, the City Council has just approved a budget that funds Adams’ failed, police-reliance approach to public safety, including his revamp of the notoriously brutal Anti-Crime Unit, the likes of which murdered Amadou Diallo, Carlos Lopez Jr, Sean Bell, Ramarley Graham, Shantel Davis, Kimani Gray, Eric Garner, Saheed Vassell, and Antonio Williams.- London Arnold, Justice Committee Organizer.
While it makes meaningful increases in community-based violence prevention programs, refrains from dumping more taxpayer dollars into DOC corruption by not hiring new prison guards, and imposes some transparency on the NYPD budget, this budget still utterly fails to contend with the deadly dysfunction and racism of the NYPD or provide New York City with a truly effective public safety regime that reflects our values and protects all New Yorkers. Passing an on-time budget with minor, long overdue investments in SYEP and other popular programs can only be characterized as a success if we lower our standards so much that process obliterates substance and we satisfy ourselves with a budget that leaves millions of our neighbors living in poverty, many without stable and supportive housing, substance use disorder treatment and harm reduction services or high-quality mental health care on demand. We have provided the NYPD with the largest budget in its history despite its ongoing failure to keep New Yorkers safe while cutting education and massively underinvesting in the things that do. That's not a status quo we should be proud of. -- Leo Ferguson, Director of Strategic Project, Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ)
“New York City’s Mayor and City Council did not provide the leadership our city needs to reduce the size and scope of the NYPD and reinvest in our communities. The budget should have included dismantling the abhorrently corrupt Vice Squad, disbanding the militarized Strategic Response Group that has been responsible for brutally suppressing protest, replacing unsuitable law enforcement with trained public health workers as the first responders to mental health emergencies, and building a social safety net that centers services and supports, not handcuffs and accounting tricks that recreate units under new names. Budgets are moral documents, and this budget prioritizes criminalization over community care as funding for services that support real public safety - like housing, public education, and mental health support - are overlooked It’s time to stop bloating the NYPD’s coffers and reimagine what keeps communities safe and secure," said Michael Sisitzky, Senior Policy Counsel at the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU)
Since 2020, Communities United for Police Reform has led a historic #NYCBudgetJustice coalition of more than 200 local and national organizations to demand cuts to the NYPD budget and reallocation of those resources to fund core service programs and infrastructure for Black, Latinx and other communities of color. CPR’s latest report, Creating Safe and Vibrant Communities for all New Yorkers, provides detailed analysis of the NYPD FY23 budget, as well as communities’ demands to cut $1B from NYPD and invest in communities.
About Communities United for Police Reform
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.Topics: NYC Budget Justice