Calling on Mayor Marty Walsh to Defund the Police and Invest in Black and Brown Communities

Mayor Marty Walsh

To Mayor Marty Walsh:

In the wake of another murder of a Black person at the hands of the police, people across the country are fighting for a future where Black communities and other communities of color can exist without fear. Here in Boston, we echo the call to defund the police and invest in the safety and health of all of our people.

For far too long, Boston has widened the wealth gap for Black families, pushed low-income people out of the city, and invested in the policing system that dehumanizes people of color. The Boston Police Department's budget is much larger than other city departments that are meant to support our communities. BPD’s overtime spending alone is higher than numerous community-supported departments. At a time when many people of color are unemployed and struggling through the pandemic, police officers are doubling and tripling their salaries with overtime and additional pay.

We do not need to hire more officers, shift their funding towards training, or have them engage in additional “community policing.” You have the opportunity to finally answer the demands of Black and brown Bostonians for those resources to be invested in community-based solutions that will truly make us all healthier and safer.

We are calling on you to:

  1. Cut the BPD budget for FY2021 by at least 10%, starting with $40 million from the overtime budget.

  2. Reinvest that $40 million into Black and brown communities, including prioritizing COVID-19 relief, housing, public health and education, small and cooperative businesses, community centers, community-led organizations and projects, and increasing youth jobs to $15 million.

  3. Continue decreasing the BPD budget every year and investing more in programs that keep our communities alive and well.

  4. Establish and implement a community-led process to move funding from BPD into the hands of Black and brown communities and create longer term community control over budgeting.

Now is the time to be accountable to Black and brown residents of Boston and to prioritize funding that supports our safety and well-being. Defund the Boston Police Department and invest in our communities.


Petition by
Sashi James
Boston, Massachusetts

To: Mayor Marty Walsh
From: [Your Name]

To Mayor Marty Walsh:

In the wake of another murder of a Black person at the hands of the police, people across the country are fighting for a future where Black communities and other communities of color can exist without fear. Here in Boston, we echo the call to defund the police and invest in the safety and health of all of our people.

For far too long, Boston has widened the wealth gap for Black families, pushed low-income people out of the city, and invested in the policing system that dehumanizes people of color. The Boston Police Department's budget is much larger than other city departments that are meant to support our communities. BPD’s overtime spending alone is higher than numerous community-supported departments. At a time when many people of color are unemployed and struggling through the pandemic, police officers are doubling and tripling their salaries with overtime and additional pay.

We do not need to hire more officers, shift their funding towards training, or have them engage in additional “community policing.” You have the opportunity to finally answer the demands of Black and brown Bostonians for those resources to be invested in community-based solutions that will truly make us all healthier and safer.

We are calling on you to:

Cut the BPD budget for FY2021 by at least 10%, starting with $40 million from the overtime budget.
Reinvest that $40 million into Black and brown communities, including prioritizing COVID-19 relief, housing, public health and education, small and cooperative businesses, community centers, community-led organizations and projects, and increasing youth jobs to $15 million.
Continue decreasing the BPD budget every year and investing more in programs that keep our communities alive and well.
Establish and implement a community-led process to move funding from BPD into the hands of Black and brown communities and create longer term community control over budgeting.

Now is the time to be accountable to Black and brown residents of Boston and to prioritize funding that supports our safety and well-being. Defund the Boston Police Department and invest in our communities.