Refund Rochester. Defund the Police.

Mayor Lovely Warren and Rochester City Council

ftproc 2020

Support the movement for Black lives and join us in demanding the mayor and Rochester City Council defund the police budget by 50%, and reinvest those funds into housing, education, healthcare, youth development and community-led public safety for the people.

Petition by
Rochester, New York

To: Mayor Lovely Warren and Rochester City Council
From: [Your Name]

​Refund Rochester. Defund the Police.

Over the past three weeks, Rochester residents have filled the streets in protest of police brutality, white supremacy and the violence of institutional racism. In response, you and other elected officials have been quick to say “Black Lives Matter”. However, these words must be followed by actions to substantially challenge the systems that harm Black people in Rochester.

In line with the national call by the Black Lives Matter movement, the people of Rochester are calling on you and Rochester City Council to divest from police and invest in our communities. We demand a 50% cut to the Rochester Police Department (RPD) budget and for this money to be reallocated to address Rochester’s poverty and horrific racial inequity. We can no longer continue to prop up a system built on slavery that criminalizes Black people. We demand a REFUND.

We demand that you and City Council redirect this funding to resources including safe, secure housing, healthcare, education, youth development and community-led public safety. We must begin to address the root causes of crime: poverty, trauma, and systemic failures of public institutions. Policing, wrongfully categorized as "public safety", devours almost a hundred million dollars of the city budget. This is more than the budget of Recreation and Youth Services, Libraries, and Neighborhood and Business Development combined. The coercive and violent system of policing will never succeed in creating a society in which people are truly safe. Public safety comes from access to resources and social support.

On Tuesday, June 16th, Rochester City council plans to vote on the Proposed Mayoral Budget. This vote will decide whether you all, as leaders of our city, will listen to the voices of your constituents in a historic moment, or if you will reward the ineffective, hazardous, and racist Police Department with nearly $100,000,000. Only when you make substantial investments that center Black lives, will our city thrive. We ask that you stand in solidarity with us and fight for our lives by defunding the police and reinvesting in the people.