Unite Oregon Demands that the City of Portland Defund the Police & Reimagine Community Safety During the 2021-22 Budget
Unite Oregon organizes immigrants and refugees, as well as Black and indigenous people and other people of color statewide. In our communities, contact with the police is too often a risk and danger to our community, not a source of safety. In 2021, as we navigate the pandemic, safety is at the top of our mind. We are more vulnerable than ever to non-police white supremacist violence, economic & housing instability, and physical and mental health needs. We need investment in the well-being of our communities, not in an unaccountable and dangerous police department.
This Spring, we are demanding that City Council immediately cut $35 million that our community has called for, and redirect it towards programs that reimagine community safety from the ground up. This $35 million divestment/reinvestment is one moment in a long-term project to keep our communities safe. As we learn and build new ways of building safety, we will continue to push towards an eventual full defunding of the police.
We demand a modified 2021-2022 city budget that:
- Dramatically limits our communities’ contact with the police,
- Begins to demilitarize the police, and limits the functions they play in our communities, and
- Reimagines community safety and makes real investments in new approaches.
Specifically, we demand:
- Dramatically limiting our communities’ contact with the police,
- An immediate reduction of the police budget by $35 million
- Reinvestment of that $35 million into non-police programs to promote safety in our communities
How do we envision this happening? We want the police out of areas of our life where they are completely unnecessary, and where safer alternatives exist that we can implement today. Read our full analysis here, and use the tool below to tell Portland City Council to DEFUND PORTLAND POLICE!