Endorse the #DefundCPD campaign
Dear Chicago-based Organizations,
Across the country, organizers and activists are calling to defund police. Chicago, being ground-zero for countless incidents of police violence, torture and murder, has lagged painfully behind in holding police accountable as they irreparably and continuously harm community members. In addition to perpetually devaluing Black and Brown people in this city, CPD has never functioned as an institution interested in or invested in public safety. The movement to defund police is deeply rooted in the abolitionist theory that we should prioritize and fund the things that actually keep us safe. It means taking money out of inflated police budgets and investing that money in resources that address the root causes of intra-community harm.
In Chicago, nearly 40% of the city's corporate budget is spent on policing- That's almost $5 million per day we spend on police! To compare, the amount that we spend on ONE day of policing is Chicago is equivalent to what the city spends on:
3 months of mental health services+
7 months’ worth of substance abuse treatment+
7 months of violence prevention programs+
As vital services get cut year after year, we are told that the city is too broke to provide the resources we need. Meanwhile, the Chicago police department has seen yearly increases to their budget since 1964. Even though research has consistently proven that more police does not equal less crime.
The #DefundCPD campaign is demanding that City Council take resources and power away from the Chicago Police Department – a historically racist and violent institution with too much power over our communities – and reinvest in community resources like fully-funded public schools, mental health services, housing and other supportive services to address Chicago’s systemic inequity problems. As grassroots organizations, this campaign addresses many of the issues we have already been fighting for. By defunding Chicago Police, we can deliver the services and resources we have been promising our constituency for years. Together we can build a massive, united front to demand the resources our communities deserve and actually decrease the violence of CPD on Black communities by building a robust effort to #DefundCPD's budget and invest in our neighborhoods instead.
We are asking organizations across the city to endorse the #DefundCPD campaign. Your organization's endorsement would mean that as an org you commit to supporting in several ways:
Support the demand to Divest $1.8 billion from CPD and Reinvest those public funds directly into Chicago’s under-resourced communities to build and expand life affirming institutions
Regularly promote the campaign to your base
- Support priority DefundCPD projects (with turnout and responding to direct asks quarterly)
Identify at least 2 areas that you commit to start or continue to work in to Defund CPD:
Organizations that endorse will receive the following from the #DefundCPD campaign:
Outreach: Try to get 100 people to sign the petition thru your own canvassing, social media, text or phonebanking, or by volunteering with the campaign for 10 hours per month
Training: Make sure your members have attended Defund trainings and hold conversations and trainings with our resource guides in your community
Direct Action: Organizing an action demanding #DefundCPD
Policy and Research: Build sustained pressure for your Alderman to #DefundCPD, including meeting with them using our resource guides.
Fundraising: Make a $500 donation from your organization or hold a fundraiser for the campaign
+Campaign resources for carrying out commitments
+Access to our organizing Slack workspace for group representatives, providing ongoing opportunities to engage with and help build the #DefundCPD campaign
+Delivery of printed materials, as needed
+Monthly Zoom meeting for endorsing orgs to collaborate
+Weekly email with updates
+Shared campaign materials
If you would like to sign on to the campaign, please fill out this form. Someone from the campaign will follow up within the next few days. To see who has signed on so far, visit this page.
If you have questions about the commitments being requested of endorsing organizations, please reach out to DefundEndorsements@gmail.com
***If you are connected to organizations who are not ready to commit to the divest/reinvest demand, but you want to make the most of this political moment to push your organization please let us know. We want to support you and are developing resources & hosting bi-weekly support calls to talk about how to push your organization from the inside. Email us at DefundEndorsements@gmail.com