DIVESTING: Currently, the city council wants to allocate 41% of the unrestricted General Fund ($293,000,000) to the Bakersfield Police Department. We demand that City Council and the Mayor immediately begin to disinvest from the police. We want a budget that will adequately represent what the people in our communities need and their priorities. Police have not kept us safe. We can institute services that actually keep our communities safe and and strengthen them. We are currently facing an unemployment rate that has doubled due to the global pandemic and we already had a severe homelessness issue before the pandemic began. We need the budget this year to protect our communities ravaged by this pandemic, specifically the BIPOC communities that have been affected the most and were already being oppressed by systemic racism long before the pandemic began.
INVESTING: The City Council and the Mayor can change the budget. We have asked the community to engage in a participatory budget process so we can create our own People’s Budget that reflects what Bakersfieldians really want. We know they want affordable housing, access to mental healthcare, to address the food insecurity, rent cancellation and suspension during the pandemic, public school funding, and direct investments into Black communities. We do not want more police. We want services that directly support the community.