Member Statements on PCR4: Defund MPD

Priority campaign resolution for Defund MPD

Statement by Auden D. IN FAVOR of the resolution:

Hello, my name is Auden and I would like to voice my support for Defund MPD receiving Priority Campaign funding in 2023. I am an organizer with the Defund NoVA PD working group. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to work closely with Defund MPD on many occasions. In the interest of space, I will not use this section to list my interactions and experiences with Defund MPD. Instead, I will point to two events that speak to the effectiveness of the working group within DSA. I participated in one of the Defund and Refunk events over the summer, in which we collaborated with an art collective to engage with the community in answering questions about public safety and the role of the police in communities. The event was executed very professionally, but I want to point out the creativity with how Defund MPD approached the event. By collaborating with an art collective in the community, the working group not only connected members of the community but also gave participants another lens and medium through which to answer these vitally important questions. I also participated in the Brake Light Clinic event we had in the Fall of 2022. This event is the most successful event I have been to and it is through this event that we were able to reach members of the community who live and work on the blocks that we were set up. Most people were very receptive to our message and were happy to engage in a conversation with us, even if it was just in passing. Of course, the event would not have been successful without the utmost planning and coordination in the working group, a process that was carried out smoothly and one that was very easy to become involved in. There is much more that the Defund MPD working group does, but in highlighting these two events I want to make an argument for the working group receiving priority campaign funding so that we can continue to engage with the community on a deep level and spread our roots across the city. Thank you, Auden

Statement from Amanda L. IN FAVOR of the resolution:

I am in favor of voting for Defund MPD to be a priority campaign. Abolition continues to be a strong organizing tenet for our chapter, and for DSA overall, and the work of this WG remains important in an extremely over-policed city like DC. Defund MPD is doing excellent research work, in addition to base-building and working with other parties to expand options for community safety. From wheatpasting to brake light clinics to deep & street canvassing to art making workshops like Defund & Refunk, Defund MPD continues to organize in creative ways that involve and bring residents into a larger conversation about reinvesting in our city. I believe that making Defund MPD a priority campaign will be important in further advancing our cause & ramping up pressure on this issue in DC.

Statement from Peter F. IN FAVOR of the resolution:

I am writing in favor of Defund MPD becoming a priority campaign. The Defund MPD campaign is a crucial and urgent effort to address systemic racism and state violence in our communities. As members of the Democratic Socialists of America, it is our responsibility to prioritize this campaign and provide it with the necessary resources and support.Additional funding for the Defund MPD campaign will enable us to expand our outreach and engagement efforts, build stronger coalitions with other organizations, and continue our organizing efforts to build power for important campaigns such as the Cops out of Traffic Enforcement campaign, which we helped through our brakelight clinic that saw us repair 30 or so brakelights of DC residents and engage them in conversations about abolition. It will also enable us to provide greater support to communities most impacted by police violence, including Black and Brown communities, and to amplify the voices and experiences of those who have been targeted by law enforcement. Furthermore, investing in the Defund MPD campaign aligns with our broader commitment to social, economic, and racial justice. By redirecting funding away from the police and towards community-based programs and services, we can foster healthier and more equitable communities, and take a significant step towards realizing our vision of a society free from oppression and injustice. In short, the Defund MPD campaign is a vital and necessary effort, and it deserves to be a top priority for the DSA. By providing it with the resources it needs, we can advance our collective goals and make a real difference in the lives of those most impacted by police violence.

**Statement from Nell G. IN FAVOR of the resolution:

I believe our chapter should continue to support Defund MPD as a priority campaign because our working group has built deep coalition relationships that enable sustained campaigning for abolition of the police and prisons. This is a long-term struggle and we have shown DSA is a committed part of the broader movement in DC. In order to be effective in the coming year — a critical period when the larger Defund campaign is transforming and morphing into multiple abolitionist policy campaigns and political education efforts — we need the full support and resources of the chapter behind us. We have ambitious plans to support campaigns for getting cops out of traffic enforcement, decriminalizing drug use, and bringing participatory democracy to the budgeting process, all of which will be made more possible if we can once again rely on the resources and platform that comes from being a strategic campaign. We look forward to involving more DSA members and hope everyone will vote in support of our priority campaign resolution!