Greens Blast NYC Budget Capitulation

New York City - Green Party officers responded to the passage of New York City’s FY 2021 budget with the following statement:

“In the face of a massive month-long social uprising demanding the end of police violence against Black and Brown communities and a massive reduction in the NYPD budget, the Mayor and City Council instead used accounting tricks to maintain funding for the department, while attempting to claim otherwise,” said Chris Archer, chair of the Green Party of New York County. “We are disgusted by the half-truths and lies emanating from city government, and the continued police violence against our communities as well as peaceful protesters. In a time when the elimination of 22,000 city jobs is being proposed, the Mayor and City Council’s refusal to cut the NYPD shows where their priorities lie: maintaining a police state above all else.”

“Bill de Blasio, who claimed to want progressive police reforms while campaigning for mayor in 2013, has proven himself to be nothing more than a cynical opportunist. It was disturbing to see him claim the police “acted with restraint” while mercilessly beating and gassing peaceful protesters last month, and making excuses when one tried to run protesters over with a car. But what else can we expect from someone who refused to fire Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who murdered Eric Garner in the same way George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police? This is a mayor whose 1000 current and former staffers released a statement last month decrying his unwillingness to challenge the NYPD: from increasing their budget by $1 billion since he took office, refusing to end the sadistic practice of solitary confinement which took the life of Kalief Browder, pushing to build $9 billion of new jails, attacking those that wanted bail and discovery reform, and keeping inmates locked in Rikers as COVID ripped through the facility,” said Peter LaVenia, Co-chair, Green Party of New York.

“The mayor and the City Council majority have decided on a strategy of legerdemain. Rather than cutting force size as demanded by activists, the budget for school safety officers was moved into the Department of Education and only two of four yearly cadet classes have been canceled. In a time when all other city agencies are subject to austerity and a hiring freeze, the NYPD again escapes real cuts. It is unconscionable that when the city is facing a $9 billion budget gap, its leaders refuse to decrease funding for the $6 billion NYPD to save social programs” said Candace Carponter, Chair, Green Party of Brooklyn.

“The answer is simple: tax the rich, defund the police, and reassign their budget and functions to other agencies and non-violent professions. Demilitarize and rebuild Black and Brown working class communities that have been devastated by policing and the effects of mass incarceration. Unfortunately that is unlikely to happen until we elect candidates committed to real change, which means candidates from the Green Party and others outside the two-party corporate system. Until that time, we will continue to march with our brothers and sister in the movement,” said Carponter.