Ahead of the upcoming city council budget hearings, the Defund 604 Network has released its People’s Budget, designed to further the goal of defunding the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) through better understanding and advocating for the needs of communities left out of the current city of Vancouver budget consultations. The People’s Budget is the first of its kind in Canada.
Laurel Albina, an organizer with the Defund 604 Network, and Meenakshi Mannoe, with PIVOT Legal Society, speak about the need to raise “issues related to the criminalization of poverty. The way that people who are homeless are treated in the city, the way that people who use drugs are targeted. And of course, we know that black and indigenous people continue to be targeted by policing practices, such as street stops.”
The People’s Budget will be a perennial project, with the goal of “actively build[ing] programs that defund the police and provide alternatives, real alternatives, peer led alternatives.” Otherwise, “ we’re going to be sticking with that status quo and choosing to cause harm.”
Listen to Laurel Albina and Meenakshi Mannoe’s interview below.
People Budget 2021 - Backgrounder and results of the Survey (pdf)