John Legend, Megan Rapinoe and other celebrities have signed a petition urging local governments to decrease police budgets in favor of spending more on health care, education, and other community programs, The Daily Caller reports.
Other celebrities who reportedly signed include Common, the Weeknd, Lizzo, Jane Fonda and Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) June 3, 2020
“The COVID-19 deaths and the deaths caused by police terror are connected and consequential to each other,” the petition stated. “The United States does not have a national healthcare system. Instead, we have the largest military budget in the world, and some of the most well-funded and militarized police departments in the world, too.”
“Policing and militarization overwhelmingly dominate the bulk of national and local budgets,” the petition continued. “In fact, police and military funding has increased every single year since 1973, and at the same time, funding for public health decreased every year, crystallized most recently when the Trump administration eliminated the U.S. Pandemic Response Team in 2018, citing ‘costs.’”
The petition summarized three key points at the end.
“Vote no on all increases to police budgets,” it said. “Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets. Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, Education, and Community programs that keep us safe.”
The letter was released by activist Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter and a founding member of the Movement 4 Black Lives, a coalition of more than 100 black-rights organizations.