An intergovernmental insurgency first reported in the Daily News yesterday, in which current and former city employees within the de Blasio Administration are demanding radical change from de Blasio, has now spread to the City Council, KCP has learned.
According to an open letter to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and members of the City Council and obtained by KCP, former and current city council employees are demanding among other things that the City Council does not pass the Fiscal Year 2021 city budget, currently being negotiated, “without significant cuts amounting to $1 billion or more to NYPD.”
“We have watched in horror as many of our friends and loved ones have been intimidated or attacked on the streets while protesting for justice. We have watched many in the districts we serve routinely be harassed, surveilled, and arrested for being Black or brown. Like the rest of this city, we’ve had enough.
“It is important the Council serve as a counterbalance to the Mayor’s regressive policing of protesters and refusal to pursue any kind of accountability for the many people who have been brutalized in the city by the police. The actions of the Council must meet the demands of the day, and frankly, the reform most required by this moment is a stark and drastic reduction of the NYPD budget,” according to the letter.
The letter notes cuts to the Summer Youth Employment Program and schools and demands that money earmarked for the NYPD be shifted to services and resources serving the city’s most marginalized residents, especially during a pandemic where housing, food, healthcare, and safety is in jeopardy for many.
The letter also calls on the Speaker and the Council to:
Push the Mayor to immediately fire all NYPD officers found to have used excessive force—or to have covered their badges—at protests.
Push the Mayor to release the names and official disciplinary records of all NYPD personnel who have been accused of using excessive force, covering their badge numbers, or other misconduct.
The letter is currently being circulated among current and former City Council staffers for signatures.
Johnson responded thanking current Council staff, who have gone above and beyond to keep the Council running throughout this pandemic, as well as former staffers for making their voices heard on this critical issue.
“I want to let each and every person who signed this letter and the tens of thousands of New Yorkers protesting each day know that I hear them, not just on the budget but on the need for structural, transformational reforms of the NYPD. I know that my colleagues in the Council also hear these calls, and we will take them into account as we work to create the systemic change our city needs and fight for a budget that reduces funding for the NYPD and invests in communities as much as possible during an unprecedented financial crisis,” said Johnson.
It also comes as City Council Member Eric Ulrich (R-Queens), in a Tweet today, called on Gov Cuomo to step in and remove de Blasi from office, and that he will be calling for a vote of no confidence in the city council.
I just woke up & NYC is still smoldering from civil unrest. @NYCMayor has lost control of the situation. Even some of his closest allies have abandoned ship. It’s time for @NYGovCuomo to step in & remove him from office. I will be calling for a vote of no confidence @NYCCouncil
— Eric Ulrich (@eric_ulrich) June 4, 2020