Community support for the #DefundNYPD Campaign is strong — and steadily growing.
Dishonest reporting can’t hide the truth: New Yorkers want our elected leaders to defund the police and refund the people. Here’s what we know from a year of organizing and outreach across NYC.
NYC’s primary election day is just around the corner (June 22) — and in the midst of our work to get out the vote, we’re also reflecting on a year of meaningful conversations with our fellow working class New Yorkers. Our movement has real, sustained power — evidenced in part by a growing list of 43 City Council candidates who pledge to support defunding the police by at least $3 billion during their terms, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s official endorsement of our DSA for the City Slate. It’s irrefutable: Mayoral and City Council candidates who continue to hedge the issue or ignore the growing, city-wide demand to defund the police do so at their own political risk.
Many detractors have pointed to a report showing that only 18% of respondents “support the movement known as ‘defund the police.’” But as our comrades have pointed out before, misleading or biased language in this problematic poll masks the true power of our movement:
“The same report found that 43% support the idea to “take a portion of the budget for police in your community and redirect those funds to social services.” That’s a full 25% gap due to biased reporting & wording, in the same respondents.”
Since mid-March this year, in just three months of weekly outreach, #DefundNYPD organizers spoke with a few thousand New Yorkers about exactly this: how defunding the police is precisely what is required for the reallocation of funds to social services that are proven to keep us safe. 1,163 of those New Yorkers signed our #DefundNYPD Petition — which mirrors our NYC Public Safety Pledge — by calling on NYC Council members to: 1) vote “no” on any budget that doesn’t reallocate at least $3 billion from the NYPD’s $11 billion yearly expenditure; 2) support efforts to reinvest those funds in non-punitive public safety programs and social services; 3) demand an immediate NYPD hiring freeze; and 4) support the permanent closure of the Rikers Island jail complex and stand against the construction of new borough-based jails.
Our heat map above shows where we saw the most support across the city. Notably, more than 17% of the signatures came from District 35, where DSA for the City Slate candidate Michael Hollingsworth is currently getting out the vote — and where outgoing City Council Member Laurie Cumbo once bizarrely claimed #DefundNYPD was akin to “colonization” and was not “being led by the Black community.” (These claims were dispelled by many — including Cumbo’s own former chief of operations.) Some of our highest concentrations of signatures came from zip codes 11101 in Queens and 11237 in Bushwick — suggesting that the same communities the media portrays as particularly crime-ridden therefore anti-#DefundNYPD (faulty logic, at best) are in fact friendly to a vision for true public safety and budget justice.
Those who continue to acquiesce to the political might of the NYPD and its unions or denounce the movement to the defund the police conveniently forget: Our formal demand to defund the NYPD by $3 billion in two years, led by our DSA for the City Slate, far surpasses one of 2020’s most notable demands to defund the police ($1 billion over 4 years) — yet has gained even more traction. The movement to defund the police now enjoys a bold new class of legislators on the ballot on June 22nd, and a growing coalition of abolitionist, advocacy, and grassroots organizations across the city.
The tide of public opinion is moving toward our movement. Will our elected leaders finally and unequivocally get on board?
NYC City Council candidates:
- Promise to support defunding the police, and a vision for truly safe and healthy communities. Sign the NYC Public Safety Pledge.
- Demand that our elected leaders support the reallocation of the NYPD’s yearly expenditure into the social services that lead to safe and thriving communities. Sign the #DefundNYPD Petition — and use this toolkit to pressure candidates into signing the NYC Public Safety Pledge.
- Get out the vote for our DSA for the City Slate candidates. Learn more and sign up to volunteer.
- Join the movement. Sign up for the #DefundNYPD Campaign!
About #DefundNYPD: #DefundNYPD is a campaign led by NYC-DSA, a local branch of the National Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). They are the largest leftist organization in the United States — and support the people’s demand to defund the police and abolish the prison industrial complex. The DSA works collaboratively with community members, labor unions, and grassroots organizations to build a mass, multiracial, democratic abolitionist movement.