Here are excerpts from Kaia Sand’s editorial in this week’s edition of Street Roots:
Mayor Ted Wheeler is protecting the police budget while cutting a portion of the Portland Street Response budget.
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly has already said she’s voting for Hardesty’s proposal to trim PPB further. It’s time to put pressure on Wheeler, Commissioner Dan Ryan and Commissioner Amanda Fritz to support the change as well, in the interest of public safety.
In our streets and across the nation, people are demanding that cities dismantle unjust police power. Here in Portland, timing is on our side to demand bold action because city council is set to vote on the proposed city budget this Wednesday (June 10th).
A few weeks ago, it was likely that we’d see the $246.2 million police budget roll forward. But thanks to courageous demonstrators, the conversation has shifted.
We need you to take action and tell Mayor Wheeler and Commissioners Eudaly, Fritz and Hardesty that we need the budget to support a just vision of public safety.
Today, tomorrow and Tuesday, please ask them to fund Portland Street Response to move us away from police-based solutions.
As is, city council is set to roll forward the one-time funding for a single pilot. But now is the time in which we demand that the city designate ongoing funds so multiple pilots can simultaneously run across the city – not just in one neighborhood – transforming into a city-wide program. We need to speed this up.
Subject: Please increase funding for Portland Street Response
Please increase funding for Portland Street Response in the proposed budget that will be voted on this Wednesday, June 10th. In our streets and across the nation, people are demanding that cities support a just vision of public safety. PSR is a great first step to move us away from police-based solutions. Please designate 4.8 million dollars in on-going funds so multiple PSR pilots can simultaneously run across the city – not just in one neighborhood. We need to speed this up.