Dear Speaker Johnson and Members of the New York City Council: #DefundTheNYPD

As current and former staffers of the New York City Council, we write to express our outrage at the police killings of Black people George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Eric Garner, and many others across this country and in our city, and call on you to #DefundTheNYPD by not passing a budget without significant cuts amounting to $1 billion or more to NYPD.

We have watched in horror as many of our friends and loved ones have been intimidated or attacked on the streets while protesting for justice. We have watched many in the districts we serve routinely be harassed, surveilled, and arrested for being Black or brown. Like the rest of this city, we’ve had enough.

It is important the Council serve as a counterbalance to the Mayor’s regressive policing of protesters and refusal to pursue any kind of accountability for the many people who have been brutalized in the city by the police. The actions of the Council must meet the demands of the day, and frankly, the reform most required by this moment is a stark and drastic reduction of the NYPD budget.

We call on you, as New Yorkers, as people who work for the people of this city, who see the importance that social services and government services play in the lives of our neighbors and constituents. At a time when crime rates are at a record low, and social services like the Summer Youth Employment Program and schools are being cut deeply, the City cannot afford to keep NYPD’s ginormous $6 billion budget intact. Much of that funding must shift to services and resources that serve our City’s most marginalized residents, especially during a pandemic where housing, food, healthcare, and safety is in jeopardy for many.

The Council as a body has been an important counterweight to the Mayor, and it is this time that requires a real departure from the Mayor’s callous policies against Black people and people of color. It is not enough to participate in the symbolic gestures that have gotten us not much further from where we were a decade ago, but to break with the failures of the past and do something that makes a real impact on the day-to-day lives of Black and brown New Yorkers.

We call on the Speaker and the Council to:

1. Reduce the NYPD operating budget by at least $1 billion in Fiscal Year 2021, in alignment with the demands of the NYC Budget Justice campaign. This includes, but is not limited to, a hiring freeze, cancellation of incoming cadets, removing police from schools, homelessness outreach, and mental health co-response teams, and sharply reducing the NYPD’s public relations and surveillance budgets.

2. Reallocate savings from NYPD to essential social services, including rent relief, housing, food assistance, health care, youth programming and other frontline services, in alignment with the demands of the NYC Budget Justice campaign.

3. Push the Mayor to immediately fire all NYPD officers found to have used excessive force — or to have covered their badges — at protests.

4. Push the Mayor to release the names and official disciplinary records of all NYPD personnel who have been accused of using excessive force, covering their badge numbers, or other misconduct.

As public service employees, we work every day to serve the people of New York City, to make our City a more equitable and just place. Please stand with us to make the above changes that Black organizers and activists are calling for that will actually have long reaching effects on our City.

In memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and Eric Garner, and many others.

263 Current & Former Staffers of the New York City Council, & counting.

Abby Damsky
Adolfo Abreu
Akhurapa Ambak
Alaa Moussawi
Alana Sivin
Alana Pilar Cantillo
Alex Washington
Aliyah Reynolds
Amanda Nasner
Amanda Farias
Ami Cholia
Aminta Kilawan
Anastasia Somoza
Andrew Lassiter
Andrew Ronan
Andrew Sokolof Diaz
Angelica Colon
Anthony Chiarito
Anthony Scattaglia
Ariana Collado
Arielle Swernoff
Artyom Matusov
Asher Novek
Asher Freeman
Audrey Son
Aura Olavarria
Austen Brandford
Austin Shafran
Balqees Mihirig
Bartholomew Caro
Becky Stern
Ben Jacobs
Bianca Almedina
Brandon West
Brook Frye
Bryan Ellicott
Carolyn Tran
Casie Addison
Catherine Zinnel
Cesar Vargas
Chantanae Singletary
Charles Kim
Chloë Rivera
Christopher Pepe
Christopher Wassif
Clara Wheatley-Schaller
Corey Ortega
Cory Epstein
Crystal Pond
Daniella Eras
Danielle Castaldi-Micca
Danny Pearlstein
David Karopkin
Davis Winslow
Deedra Cheatham
Dev Awasthi
Elana Ehrenberg
Eleni DeSiervo
Eliana Lopez
Elizabeth Adams
Em Feder Cooper
Emily Balkan
Esteban Duran
Evelin Collado
Faizah Malik
Fatima Elmansy
Genevieve Morton
Guillermo Rodriguez
Harbani Ahuja
Harmony Guo
Harmony Zhao
Henry Robins
Holly Beck
Irak Cehonski
Isabel Smith
Isabelle Chandler
Ismail Sharif
Israel Sanchez
Ivan Luevanos-Elms
Ivan Valladares
Ivia Cardozo
Ivy Rosado
Jack Bernatovicz
Jacob Kern
Jacob Reisberg
Jacqueline C. Sokolof
James Subudhi
James Wu
Jamie-Lukas Campbell
Jan Atwell
Jasmin Torres
Jason Banrey
Jason Hur
Jenna Calderone
Jenna Klaus
Jennifer Gutierrez
Jennifer Salgado
Jeremy Unger
Jesse Solomon
Jesse Towsen
Jessica Nepomiachi
Joel Trinidad-Santos
John Blasco
John McCarten
John White
Jonathan Alleyne
Jordan Feiner
Josh Kingsley
Juan Mayancela
Julia Ehrman
Julia Fredenburg
Julian Morales
Kaela Shelby
Kaitlyn O’Hagan
Kalima Johnson

Kana Ervin
Karina Claudio Betancourt
Katy Sullivan
Kieshorne Dennie
Kiiru Gichuru
Kira McDonald
Kristina Naplatarski
Lacey Tauber
Lara Lai
Lattina Brown
Leah Skrzypiec
Leslie Wellington
Lindsey Nater
Lisha Luo Cai
Louis Gonzales
Lucas Acosta
Madiba Dennie
Malaika Jabali
Maria Henderson
Marian Guerra
Matt Orama
Matthew Thompson
Maya Yair
Meagan Chen
Megan Flynn
Meztli Cardoso
Michael Whitesides
Mike Corbett
Mike R
Mili Bonilla
Nadia Johnson
Nancy Corona
Naomi Dann
Natalie Omary
Ned Terrace
Nereida Gomez
Nicholas Widzowski
Nick Connell
Nick Montalbano
Nick Roloson
Nicole Abene
Nicole Hunt
Nishath Azad
Noah Meixler
Nuzhat Chowdhury
Oleksandr (Alex) Tymkiv
Osman Ahmed
Pakhi Kane
Patrick Hill
Patrick McClellan
Paul Westrick
Pedro Carrillo
Peter Drivas
Qibin Ye
Rachel Goodman
Rachel Selva
Rebecca Crimmins
Renae Widdison
Rob Todaro
Robbie Welch
Rosa Kelly
Roxanne Earley
Rush Perez
Russell Murphy
Sabrina Hua
Sam Frommer
Sara Ginsberg
Sara Newman
Sara Rodriguez
Sean McCready
Shahana Hanif
Shana Melius
Sharon Stanley
Sheila Rodriguez
Socheatta Meng
Sorena Fabre
Stefanie Alleyne
Steph Silkowski
Stephen Miller
Steven Anthony Behar
Sylvester Yavana
Tarik Coles
Taylor Benell
Theodore A. Moore
Ting Lin
Vanessa Ogle
Veronica Piedra León
Vicki Sell
Vincent Fang
Vladimir Martinez
Wendy Gallegos
Whitney Mulzac
Wilfredo Florentino
Wilfredo Lopez
Wyatt Frank
Yowalka Rosario-Doran
Zachariah Boyer
Zachary Hecht
Zara Nasir
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