As protests against police brutality and white supremacy continue across the country, chances are you've seen people call for the defunding of police. But what exactly does that mean?
The @nashvillepeoplesbudget Instagram account is here to help educate you. The concept is simple. If we cut the AsTrOnOMiCaL amount of money that our governments spend on law enforcement and instead give that money to healthcare, social services, affordable housing and education, we'll actually improve public safety.
Local calls to action by @nashvillepeoplesbudget & Gideon's Army regarding the budget actually resulted in the longest metro city council meeting ever earlier this week. At least a hundred Nashville residents called in or attended the meeting in person to request the reallocation of funds from law enforcement to public goods.
I know a lot of people are very concerned about the good police officers out there getting lumped in with the "bad apples." To you I say: "defund the police" is not a punishment to them, but rather an investment in our teachers and our schools. In our healthcare workers. In our infrastructure. In our communities at large. That's not a bad thing, it's a necessary thing. It would actually help to make their jobs easier and keep them safer, too.
Mayor John Cooper's proposed budget planned to spend more of our money on cops, jails, and courts than on all of health care, social services, affordable housing, transit, infrastructure, libraries, parks, community centers, & rental & tax relief services COMBINED. Does that not strike you as a little bit much???
The council's final vote on the budget is coming up on June 16th, so be on the lookout for the next action steps from grassroots organizers. In the meantime, make sure you're continuing to educate yourself and the people in your life about the Black Lives Matter movement. It's not something that should be divisive. It's about fulfilling the promise of what America is supposed to be -- One nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice FOR ALL. Those words are hollow until black lives are indiscriminately a part of the all.