Say "No" To a Brutal Austerity Budget in Rhode Island

Rhode Island General Assembly

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Spending on social services is necessary now more than ever. But Gina Raimondo tells us the coming budget will be "brutal."

Sign our petition and send a message to the General Assembly: we will not accept a budget balanced on the backs of the poor and working class, that directs funds away from healthcare, schools, and education and toward police, jails, and incarceration, and refuses to demand that the rich pay their fair share.

Our representatives must hear loud and clear that Rhode Islanders reject austerity.

Once you’ve signed our petition, please send it to friends and family. Together we can protect our most vulnerable communities and fight to preserve the vital services that so many rely on.

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Providence, RI

To: Rhode Island General Assembly
From: [Your Name]

Dear Members of the RI General Assembly,

We, the undersigned Rhode Islanders, demand a state budget that does not cut funding for health, education, community programming, cities and towns, public transit, infrastructure, and public assistance. There is no excuse for cutting these services, especially when our state spends nearly 400 million dollars a year on police and prisons, and while opportunities to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from the wealthy are available.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended state budget plans. Governor Gina Raimondo has promised that the ensuing cuts would be “brutal.” Yet, as the calls from Black Lives Matter activists to defund the police highlight, Rhode Islanders are tired of a state budget that prioritizes policing and prisons and tax cuts for the wealthy on the backs of the poor, working class, and communities of color. Continuing to police and incarcerate people while proposing steep reductions in state spending solves neither the budget crisis nor the human crisis. Carrying out such a program will prolong the current recession while doing nothing to meet the needs of most Rhode Islanders.

Spending on social services is necessary now more than ever. The state should generate new revenue by raising taxes on the wealthy, in addition to defunding police and prisons. The wealthy have enjoyed almost all the economic benefits of the last twelve years while the rest of us navigated a slow and uneven recovery. It is time for them to contribute their fair share.

These are our demands: no cuts to services, tax the rich, and divest from prisons and police to invest in people and communities. We call on Assembly members to vote NO on any budget proposal that cuts the public services listed above. Together, we can build a Rhode Island that works for all us, and that starts with a state budget that works for all of us.

Sincerely,

Reclaim RI