We met New York City Council progressive candidate Marni Halasa on Christmas Eve and learned a little about her campaign. Since then, she's been working hard raising the funds she needs to get on the June primary ballot; she's halfway to her $3,000 goal. I suggested she share some more about what she would like to accomplish if she's elected to Council District 3. If you like what she has to say in the video up top in in her statement that followed, please consider clicking on the Blue America thermometer below and contributing what you can to her campaign.
Let's Talk Policing-- Demilitarization
-by Marni Halasa
I believe that the NYPD must change as an institution, the fact that they are so militarized and acted so irresponsibly against peaceful protesters during Black Lives Matter protests, really shows that that institution needs to change. I would demilitarize the police, defund the police by $2 billion, and put that money towards communities of color, youth programs, CUNY, NYCHA, and invest in our public institutions.
But I also believe that we need to create a public safety agency that’s independent of the NYPD. So when the city gets 911 calls of people in mental distress, it’s the public safety agency that can address these calls-- with mental health professionals and social workers, who are better trained to handle people in this kind of distress.
I do believe in a lot of the reforms folks have been talking about for the Civilian Complaint Review Board, making their recommendations binding, holding the police commissioner to account, reform has taken so long, we need a process that holds the police to account now.
I’m very interested in having an independent police commission. A commission, the way I envision it-- once it has probable cause-- can arrest an officer immediately. The commission should also be able to prosecute it's own cases, subpoena its own witnesses, and compel testimony.
So these are big ideas, and they should be because we are here to make New York a better place. And I am going to start with this District. But if you believe we need to elect better representatives that will genuinely push for reform, please learn more about me at marniforcitycouncil.com and donate to my campaign. And feel free to reach out to me so I can learn more about you and what you are looking for in local leadership.