Nashville’s Metro Council will vote on a new operating budget on June 20, 2023.
Our demands for the budget
1. No new funds for MNPD ($16 million proposed)
2. Dedicate that $16 million to a citywide Participatory Budgeting (PB) process for 2024
3. Give full control of the PB process to a department independent from the Mayor’s Office, such as the Metro Human Relations Commission
Call to Action
(1) Endorse our demands as an individual and/or as an organization.
(2) Join us to testify at the annual Budget Hearing on June 6, at 6:30 pm, City Hall to tell Council how fulfilling these demands will improve your life! (Gather outside council chambers at 6:00 pm.) Register here to let us know you’re coming!
Here are 5 reasons why we’re demanding no new funds for MNPD and $16 million for Participatory Budgeting
1. MNPD “calls for service” plummet year after year, yet MNPD funding continues to skyrocket.
Nashvillians interact with police less than half as much as they did in 2016. Approximately 80% of all calls in 2022 were for non-criminal matters, while only 5% of all calls were for explicitly violent situations. Property offenses, which are direct manifestations of wealth inequality, accounted for 20% of all calls.
2. MNPD produces fewer tangible public safety outcomes every year, yet MNPD funding continues to skyrocket.
Police respond after a crime has already taken place. At least 75% of all calls for service in 2022 resulted in no tangible public safety outcome whatsoever. Only 2% of all calls for service resulted in citation or arrest.
3. MNPD currently has 137 funded and unfilled positions, totaling at least $13 million in excess funds.
Forty new officers are slated to join MNPD by August, but many positions will remain unfilled. The ongoing trend of officers resigning also promises to continue. Meanwhile, other departments providing crucial, life-sustaining goods and services are asked to make sacrifices year after year.
4. MNPD has received a total of $42 million in new funds over the last three years—more money than they can even use.
Even with an abundance of perpetually unfilled positions, plummeting calls for service, and diminishing returns on our “public safety” investment, MNPD receives millions in new funds each budget cycle, and millions more through supplemental allocations between budget cycles.
5. When well-executed, Participatory budgeting is a radically democratic way to reclaim public funds to make safe & thriving communities.
Metro’s current participatory budgeting (PB) process suffers from inadequate funding, inaccessibility, & burdensome control by the mayor. Control of the PB process must be transferred from the mayor to an independent, equity-focused department such as the Metro Human Relations Commission.
If you agree, (1) endorse our demands & (2) let us know you plan to testify at the budget hearing on June 6!
If you plan to testify on June 6, please be sure to:
(1) lift up our demands & narrate in personal detail how meeting these demands will positively impact your life & your community
(2) write out & practice your remarks in advance as you will have only 2 min to speak.
The safest communities are not the ones with the most police but the ones with abundant public goods and resources.
Black, Indigenous, working class, and unhoused Nashvillians have been left behind for far too long. It’s past time to build a Nashville for all of us!