Housing Works denounces the state-sanctioned murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and countless other Black people who have met their deaths at the hands of police.
We stand in solidarity with protestors on the streets here in New York City, in Minneapolis, across the country and around the world as they seek to demonstrate for change in the face of a systematic effort by police to attack, provoke and injure them. Thirty years ago this month, Housing Works was founded on principles of nonviolent civil disobedience, and we stand by those principles today.
We also stand in solidarity with all social justice organizations working to address the structural racism and institutions that dehumanize people of color, including but not limited to the NYPD. Curfews and increased police presence provide no answer to long-standing racial inequities and state violence.
Housing Works denounces the plans by Governor Cuomo and Mayor deBlasio to deal with the New York State and City COVID-19 budget crises by slashing the NYS Medicaid program, education, low-income housing and other services critical to the health and well-being of poor New Yorkers, while protecting billionaires from paying their fair share in taxes, holding the NYPD harmless, and continuing to shield law enforcement from public accountability.
Today we announce our support for cutting the NYPD budget by $1B and redirecting those funds to address community needs including healthcare, housing, homeless services and youth programs. We also call for a full repeal of NYS Civil Rights Law Sec. 50-A, a law that shields police, firefighter and corrections officers’ misconduct records from public view. We will continue to fight to repeal cash bail for non-violent offenses as well as other steps to unwind a criminal “justice” system that continues historic oppression of Black and Brown people. And we will continue to demand dignity and care for every person experiencing homelessness, including hotel rooms where people can protect themselves in this pandemic.
As a healthcare organization, we believe that racial healthcare disparities are a form of violence. Black and Brown people have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic, suffering the greatest number of people becoming ill, being hospitalized, and dying due in part to the poverty and social and economic neglect driven by systemic racism.
It is time to take action to heal our communities, our city, and our country.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.