Defund GRPD Kicks Off ‘Weeks Of Action’
This week kicks off a nearly three week campaign for the "Defund the GRPD" community action group. They are hoping to convince the Grand Rapids City Commission to vote no on the 2022 Grand Rapids city budget. They are encouraging Grand Rapids residents to write e-mails and letters to their local commissioners via facebook and their website.
The current budget was proposed on April 27th and is under a review period until May 20th. While the Defund the GRPD group states that their goal "ultimately means the abolition of the GRPD" the current campaign hopes to convince the commissioners to decrease the budget, to the charter mandated 32%. The proposed budget is currently 4% over that provision, which amounts to nearly $700,000 more for the next fiscal year.
On their website at ActionNetwork.org, the group outlines their position:
The 2022 budget for the City of Grand Rapids was proposed April 27 and is going through the review process for approval by May 20. At 438 pages, the budget is neither accessible nor easy to read, and the review timeline is far too short for meaningful engagement from the wider community. What's more, it gives $700,000 more to the GRPD, willfully denying thousands who have called to #DefundTheGRPD and #StopPoliceViolence. Write your email now to tell the commission they must vote NO on the proposed budget! They must start over with participatory budgeting to defund the GRPD and pay for programs that uplift communities.
Grand Rapids will host a town hall on the budget this Thursday at 6pm to allow for public comment on the budget, including the GRPD's allocation. Defund the GRPD & Justice for Black Lives will hold a demonstration to protest the proposed budget next Friday, May 14th, in Downtown Grand Rapids.
LOOK: 100 years of American military history