US Politics

Plan to Defund Seattle Police Department Gains Support of Majority of City Council

A majority of Seattle City Council members now support a proposal to slash funding for the Seattle Police Department (SPD) by 50 percent.

Council members Dan Strauss and Andrew Lewis came out in support of the plan on Thursday.

Lewis said in a statement that he is “100% in favor of” demands by local groups, “including the goal of a 50% cut of SPDs budget.”

“I am committed to reinvesting that money in BIPOC led organizations,” he said. BIPOC stands for black, indigenous, and people of color.

Strauss added: “If I wasnt clear yesterday – I am in 100% agreement” with Decriminalize Seattle, one of the groups pushing for defunding the police.

Strauss said the work that needs to be done now includes creating a plan for the proposed changes to be successful and define how the budget cuts occur.

Council President M. Lorena Gonzalez and members Tammy Morales, Kshama Sawant, and Teresa Mosqueda expressed support for the plan last month.

“The current public safety model does not produce safety for black, Indigenous, and brown people,” Gonzalez said in a video statement.

The other three members of the council didnt respond to requests for comment, nor did Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, a Democrat, or the Seattle Police Department.

All City Council members in Seattle are Democrats except for Sawant, who is a member of the Socialist Alternative party.

Epoch Times Photo
Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant speaks as demonstrators hold a rally outside of the Seattle Police Departments abandoned East Precinct, in Seattle on June 8, 2020. (David Ryder/Getty Images)

Proposal

Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now, groups that recently formed, are pushing to replace current 911 operations with a civilian-controlled system and defund the police department by 50 percent. The departments budget is $409 million this year.

Cuts would come from freezing new hires, reducing patrol staffing, cutting the departments public relations budget, and slashing the departments spending on homeland security, among other places, according to a presentation (pdf) given to councilmembers this week.

The groups say they want to “scale up community-led solutions,” “fund a community-created roadmap to life without policing,” and “invest in housing for all.”

Nikkita Oliver, an attorney involved with the defunding efforts, said the money going to the police would be diverted to community groups.

“This is going to require an immense scaling up of services. It will require a building of new infrastructure to be able to respond to the calls and requests of community members, and its going to require that well be able to train more of our communiRead More From Source

[contf] [contfnew]

The Epoch Times

[contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close