Defund Police: Repeal Riverside County's Budget Decision
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BlackLivesMatterIE has issued an open letter to the County of Riverside in response to its Board of Supervisors decision on 6/23/2020 to distribute $1.5 billion in county appropriations to the County's Department of Public Safety belying any commitment to social responsibility, equity and constituent interests.
As advocates to the Inland Empire:
We find it unconscionable that our Riverside University Health System is the only department seeing a decrease in revenue from this appropriations decision during a global pandemic predominately affecting poor black and brown families.
We find it unconscionable that our Housing, Homelessness and Workforce Department is seeing a reduction in contracts related to its Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Shelter Plus, and Home Investment Partnership (HOME) during a global pandemic predominately affecting poor black and brown families.
We find it unconscionable that our Human Services Department is seeing a reduction in contracts and operating service allocations related to its Children & Families First Commission and Office on Aging during a global pandemic predominately affecting poor black and brown families.
We are outraged that these decisions come as the Riverside Sheriff’s Office is positioned to receive a 3% increase in revenues we have reason to believe will expand the present and historical war against our bodies.
With these decisions it has become clear to us that our current Board of Supervisors is no longer qualified to assess our community’s vital or intrinsic needs and should no longer be allowed to make self-serving determinations at the expense of our health and safety. We are a community of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Queer, Women, and marginalized people who are most vulnerable to public health disparities including the frequent and unreported instances of police violence we experience and collectively recognize this decision as proof of the systemic white supremacy that underlies this governing body and its decision-making process. Riverside county remains the 4th largest county in California. We continue to hold the 2nd highest rates of police brutality and misconduct in the State of California. Sheriff Chad Bianco claims to be transparent, but due to SB 1421 our people remain unable to place nor monitor complaints against the Sheriff’s office. The Riverside Sheriff’s Office is using the litigation from SB 1421 to fight a war of attrition against survivors of police abuse and make accountability impossible.
Our Board of Supervisors’ willingness to entertain life-threatening delusions about the Riverside Sheriff’s Office and its protracted war on the poor and disenfranchised members of the Inland Empire only reinforces our feelings of material subjugation and second-class status in the eyes of our representatives.
BlackLivesMatterIE invites you to activate your outrage at this decision in partnership with the protests happening now in response to the Board Of Supervisors’ decision by signing onto this letter and demonstrating your solidarity and support. Your signature will serve the Inland Empire’s ongoing effort to have the current budget proposal repealed and reviewed again in September.
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