This City's Violence Prevention: Defunding The Police.

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Zain Murdock
June 30, 2021

The Oakland City Council recently voted to reallocate $18.4 million from the city’s planned police department funding to community-based violence prevention programs. 

This victory comes after the Anti Police-Terror Project’s five-year effort calling to defund the Oakland Police Department. But how much of a victory is it really?

Although the $18 million now doubles the funding those programs typically receive, it’s only 2% of what the council agreed on last summer! In fact, they said they planned to re-allocate 50% of the OPD’s $693 million budget.

So where will that 2% go?

The majority of that money will go to MACRO, the Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland, which would respond to 911 calls for those needing mental health support. 

And it might get better.

According to Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan, the city council is now asking for $10 million more for MACRO, to really ensure their unarmed crisis prevention team reaches as many people as possible. When about 25% of people killed by police have a known mental illness, this is hugely important work.

They gave Oakland the barest of minimum, but let's watch what Black communities are able to do with it. If we can make a positive impact with just that much, they won't have an excuse to keep funding police over communities paving their own methods of safety!

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