The Seattle City Council advanced legislation Friday that would defund and abolish its police force due to its role in “perpetuating racism and violence,” replacing it with the “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.”
The proposed department would be a menagerie of civilian-led initiatives that would receive taxpayer funding provided they are:
- Including culturally-relevant expertise rooted in community connections and support
- Well-versed in de-escalation skills and mental health support
- Including trauma-informed, gender-affirming, anti-racist praxis
- Connected to resources like housing, food security, and other basic needs with wrap-around services and long-term support
- Committed to hiring and retaining staff who are from the communities they serve and with lived experience of criminalization
The council policy also calls on the city to “support the immediate transfer of underutilized public land for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community ownership,” as well as guarantee that any homeless person who wants a place to live will be provided one.