Defund the Police, Fund Our Communities
In 2020 the Chicago Police Department was budgeted at 1.8 billion dollars, 40% of the City’s annual operating budget. By comparison, the city only allocated 4.8% of the 2020 budget to infrastructure and only 3.4% on community services.
Chicago isn’t broke, our priorities are
In response to the devastating economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Lightfoot has warned that the city may have to increase property taxes and make cuts to essential city services, including layoffs. Lightfoot, however, refuses to consider diverting funds from police to communities that need it most.
Police do not keep us safe
The police do not protect our communities from violence; the police wield violence to enforce deep inequalities, uphold the institutions of white supremacy, and protect the property of the wealthy. The CPD’s budget continues to grow even though a large number of crimes go unsolved. Efforts to reform the CPD and their violent tactics continue to be stalled or ineffective while the city spends millions each year on police misconduct settlements. CPD missed 70% of deadlines for the federal consent decree in the most recent reporting period.
Divestment has devastated Black and brown communities
Black and brown communities are the most impacted by the violence of disinvestment while also bearing the brunt of police brutality. Chicago’s population has declined as more and more working class families are displaced from their neighborhoods due to rising rents and property taxes increases. Wages have stagnated nationally for 40 years while corporate profits have skyrocketed. Even in the devastation of COVID-19, the richest 1% have only increased their wealth while the majority of Americans struggle. In Chicago, public services like schools, hospitals, and mental health facilities have been privatized or closed, while the city gives tax breaks in the form of TIF dollars to luxury developers.
We keep us safe.
The safest communities are not the most policed. The safest communities are the most well funded with access to resources. Policing and incarceration have become, to borrow a phrase from abolitionist scholar Ruth Wilson Gilmore, “a catchall solution to social problems”; we need direct investment in communities instead. We are demanding that Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago City Council defund the Chicago police department by 75% and reinvest those funds into crucial services like housing, healthcare, education, and employment. By directly addressing the root causes of violence in our city, we can meaningfully address harm and build towards a Chicago that provides prosperity and dignity for all.
Sign onto our petition to tell Mayor Lightfoot and the City Council to #DefundCPD and #FundOurCommunities at bit.ly/fundcommunities
Get involved in the movement to #DefundCPD and join our campaign at bit.ly/JoinDefundCPD