BLM & THE BUDGET SEASON
Just when we thought COVID would be the only crisis to hit us this year, police brutality pierced its’ way front and center. From the deaths of George Floyd, Breyonna Taylor, Ahmaud Audrey and so many more…everyday acts of contempt towards Black and Brown communities like ours, can’t be ignored. The rise of white supremacists in our country can’t go unnoticed. As your elected officials, we wholeheartedly believe action must be taken at every level of government, including our local level. Hartford police accountability is a must for us!
This year, our Hartford City Budget process coincided with Black Lives Matter (BLM). Thousands showed up to the CT State Capitol building, Hartford City Hall and the Mayor’s house, demanding for police accountability. As WFP City Councilors, we responded to the #BLM and #defundthepolice, by being the only ones on Council that introduced Resolutions at the City level to shift some funds from the Hartford Police Department (HPD), moving $45 million (21% of HPD’s budget) and re-assigning that money instead- for direct health, children and family services in Hartford.
Below are Hartford Resolutions we, WFP, introduced calling for equity in our Hartford Budget. We do NOT agree that HPD’s budget should continue to be increased, more than any other city department, as it has, in the last decade.
Our Resolutions however, did not go through. Instead the rest of Council agreed to only take away $1million, from the Hartford Police Budget.
On the contrary, we did get a few other things funded; including the Hartford Families Facing Deportation Fund, Early Childhood Education Centers and getting a city translator for constituents in multiple languages. So while we may have not gotten the most pertinent item on our list, we still had some other wins during budget season.
More importantly, Council’s decision during budget season, prompted another pressing change…