Defunding without investment is not social justice. Harms must be repaired.
When Portland City voters approved the 3% sales tax on cannabis in November 2016, you intended your taxes to repair harms in the black and brown communities not fund more arrest and harm.
Expected to be adopted on June 17, the current proposed budget defunds the police of $15M, but committed less than 10% ($1.4M) to black and brown communities. Millions were allocated to “general fund,” which means money could be used for any purpose now or in the future – including police.
Hold the City accountable to repair harms in black and brown communities. For three years, cannabis taxes have increased police budgets and amplified damage. If all City cannabis taxes collected since 2017 were invested in black and brown communities, it would total more than the $15M defunded.
Demand the City of Portland:
- Invest $15M in ongoing funds starting this year to Black and Brown communities, and ensure 100% of all future City cannabis taxes collected are invested in Black and Brown communities – the communities most harmed by cannabis criminalization.
- Give Portland community members input and official oversight on the investment of all funds.
- Hold City accountable to goals for effective use of funds and to ensure funds directly benefit Black and Brown communities.
While the Black community should set the goals, below are NuLeaf Project’s recommendation for priority investments.
Hundreds of years of over-policing and a racist, unequal justice system has led to the financial decline of Black and Brown people in the U.S. – African-Americans, Native Americans, and Latinx have less than 10% of the wealth of whites, are more likely to be houseless, and are least likely to have a college degree. City and state governments have heavily funded policing in black and brown communities, but not schools and education, affordable housing and homeownership, and commerce development.
We believe investments should be made in:
- Housing programs for stable housing and homeownership
- Commerce development, including small-business resources and entrepreneur development
- Early childhood education investments, 3rd grade to Pre-K, including high-quality daycare