In a backwards move the MTA is attempting to increase their Policing budget by another $111 Million The MTA already has a $645 Million Policing Budget—Did they overspend their budget trying to lock up and kill its own passengers? We won’t pay for it!
On Thursday February 18, an MTA Committee refused to vote for this racist increase. Instead, they voted to move the motion with “no recommendation” which means the motion will be voted on at the MTA board meeting, this Thursday, February 25 with no advantage. Still, it can pass. We are very appreciative of L.A. City Councilman and MTA Board member Mike Bonin for his leadership to oppose the effort to push through the increase. This is a great step in our direction. We need your help to defeat this motion on Thursday February 25. Then push for a 50% cut in the Metro Police, LAPD, LA Sheriffs’ Dept., and the Long Beach Police budget.
Here’s What we’re doing this week:
We’re grateful by the progressive role Mike Bonin played during Thursday’s Committee meeting in pushing the committee to move a potential $111 Million increase in the Metro Policing budget to the full board with a vote of no recommendation. In that Metro board members typically hide behind recommendations from their committee as a means to pass racist policies, this is a big step in the right direction. We also appreciateBaba Akili, Black Lives Matter, and others for supporting our work and expanding the Stop MTA Attacks on Black Passengers and the entire No Police on MTA Buses and Trains Campaign and for testifying at the board.
We won a major victory at the School Board, now Its Time to Defund the MTA Police!
On Tuesday, February 16, the Strategy Center was part of a great coalition with Students Deserve, Black Lives Matter, InnerCity Struggle, Community Coalition. First we cut $25 million from the LASPD budget in June 2020. Then we moved $36 Million to support Black students. We found decent and courageous LAUSD board members to fight for justice. But for 30 years the MTA board, and Democratic Mayors with four votes on that Board—James Hahn, Antonio Villariagosa, and now Eric Garcetti, have been hostile to the civil rights work of the Bus Riders Union and have inflicted great pain on its Black and Latino passengers. In particular the MTA is anti-Black. The MTA slaps Black Live Matter stickers on all of its buses following the police murder of George Floyd, but wants to continue to fund the police forces here in LA that target Black passenger who get 60% of all arrests and citations. In August 2017 the Long Beach Police, during an unauthorized fare check pushed Cesar Rodriguez to his death into an on coming train on the Blue Line platform. In 20—- the LAPD brutalized Bethany Nava and Selena Lechuga for riding the train while being Latinx. Where was Mayor Garcetti’s or Mark Ridley-Thomas’ rage over the police killings and harassing of MTA passengers when it was and is needed. Both voted to implement the Policing contract, both voted to raise the fares by 110%, and both voted to cut more than 1 million hours of service to fund their large gentrifying train project.
Now we must call on them to make an amends to their Black passengers by stopping any police increases and working with the BRU to cut the Metro Policing budget by 50% now and eventually defunding the whole force. We look to new MTA Board Member and County Supervisor Holly Mitchell for leadership in this struggle.