The Coalition to Reimagine Public Safety gathered at the steps of the Pittsburgh City County building on June 19 to discuss their goals towards decreasing the Pittsburgh Police budget, and instead funneling those funds to invest in resources for numerous efforts to combat problems stemming from violence, homelessness, drug use, and mental health. The goal of these policy changes, the coalition said, is to make Pittsburgh more safe and livable for minority communities.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto took office in 2014, and the Pittsburgh Police budget during that year was $74 million. Since then, the Pittsburgh Police budget has increased almost 60% to a budget of $115 million according to a recent report conducted by the Abolitionist Law Center. This number equates to one-fifth of the city’s annual budget. The Coalition to Reimagine Public Safety conveyed at a press conference the desire to decrease the police budget, at minimum, by $40 million to put into other community investments.
Jasiri X, founder of 1Hood Media, discussed the structural and systematic violence that minority communities face, and that violent crimes are often a result of these issues. Without available resources to these communities, the issue cannot be resolved, Jasiri X explained.