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Activists Gather At San Diego City Hall To Protest Mayor’s Police Budget

Activist protest San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria's proposal to increase the police budget. May 25, 2021
Joe Hong
Activist protest San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria's proposal to increase the police budget. May 25, 2021

A small coalition of activists gathered at San Diego City Hall today to protest Mayor Todd Gloria’s proposal to increase the police budget by nearly $19 million.

Jean-Huy Tran, an organizer with the San Diego-based Center on Policy Initiatives, said Gloria’s proposal is tantamount to a broken campaign promise.

Activists Gather At San Diego City Hall To Protest Mayor’s Police Budget
Listen to this story by Joe Hong.

“Mayor Gloria ran his campaign with the slogan, ‘Mayor For All Of Us,’” Tran said. “His budget does not reflect that it is for all of us.”

RELATED: Why Is San Diego’s Mayor Adding $19M To The Police Budget?

Almost exactly a year after the murder of George Floyd, activists like Tran are asking why this money isn’t going towards addressing homelessness or building parks for low-income neighborhoods.

They are calling for at least a $10 million reduction in police overtime. They also want police officers to be relieved of the responsibility for responding to homelessness and for funds to be allocated to community-based organizations that specialize in homeless response.

Community Activist Demand Budget Changes

Gennea Wall, a member of the San Diego chapter of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, said more money should be going to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline.

“Focus on youth services, so children can succeed academically and creatively,” Wall said. “Whatever space they want to go into, you have to have those programs.”

RELATED: Questions Raised Over Proposed Increase In San Diego Police Budget

In defense of his budget, Gloria said most of the increase is due to pension costs that are mandated by law. Also, supporters of the police have cited a recent jump in violent crime as justification for the increases.

The City Council will approve the final budget by mid June.