The budget proposed by Mayor Robert Garcia and City Planner Tom Modica does not defund the Long Beach Police Department. Failure to genuinely consider the public’s demands for a divestment from the LBPD amounts to a rejection that Black lives matter in Long Beach. Garcia and Modica’s proposed budget lacks the courage needed from city leadership during these historic times.

Under Garcia and Modica’s budget, the LBPD would continue to receive $240 million (44%) from the General Fund. This blatant denial of the public’s demands makes our city less safe. Money going to the LBPD could instead go to more mental health services, more library services, more affordable housing, more youth services and more language access so BIPOC communities are not left behind while Long Beach continues to gentrify and become an elitist city.

The budget proposals from both the Mayor and the City Manager continue the city’s modern racist policy of inviting Black people to the table and then ignoring their needs. The proposed $3.2 million investment in racial equity and reconciliation is a farce; it amounts to only 1% of the Police budget and shows no real desire to engage in racial equity.

We need more care and less cops. The people urge city leaders to find the courage to divest from LBPD and reinvest in Black lives and communities of color by adopting the People’s Budget and making meaningful investments in racial equity.