Submitted by Tacoma Democratic Socialists of America.
On Nov. 10 at 4pm, LASR, TDSA, and former Pierce County Sheriff candidate Janice Bridges delivered a petition at Tacoma City Hall calling on City Council to defund the police by at least 50%. They are also calling on residents to flood that evening’s City Council Budget Hearing with calls to defund the police.
While the council has committed to “Lead With Anti-Racism and Equity” and “Align Spending With Community and Council Priorities,” the current 2021-2022 proposed budget proposes only a 2% cut to the police budget. That number should be 50%. Then we wouldn’t need cuts anywhere else, and Tacoma could fulfill its anti-racist obligations.
Tacoma doesn’t need more plans, committees, commissions, and alignments. We need action. We need the police to stop terrorizing our neighborhoods and to stop killing Black men like Manuel Ellis and Bennie Branch. We money to be diverted from the police to community resources.
Tacoma City Council: don’t delay. Defund.
Lawyers Against Systemic Racism supports the reallocation of police funds from the City of Tacoma budget to go to social programs. Supporting social programs, such as mental health, housing, job development, and youth outreach programs decreases crime and the need for police interaction, and is also significantly cheaper than funding jails, courts, and police. Additionally, the police in Tacoma have time and again targeted and brutalized communities of color without consequences, leaving the community as a whole feeling unsafe. Reallocating a significant portion of police funds serves the best interest of Tacoma.
TDSA is a group of socialist organizers who live and work in and around Tacoma and Pierce County. We envision a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, and total social equality for all people.
Janice Bridges is an anti-racist grandma who ran as a write-in candidate for Pierce County Sheriff. She works for community safety and the abolition of the prison industrial complex. She endorses divesting from armed law enforcement and investing in our community’s health.