Councilwoman Ann O’Brien’s comment on the Adoption of the Final 2021-22 Budget:
First, I want to thank City staff in all the different departments who have put so much time and effort into creating this budget.
My office has received well over 200 emails and phone calls asking us not to defund the police and to oppose the budget. I want to make this very clear, I do not support reducing or defunding our public safety officers. This budget, as proposed, does NOT defund the police. There has been misinformation passing around claiming the current budget will cut and/or fully defund the police. This is simply inaccurate.
In fact, this budget actually provides more funding to our public safety department in additional civilian positions created for the expansion of the Community Assistance Program, which will be designed to provide properly trained responders to deescalate situations where police officers may not be involved.
I supported the budget as written so that our police force can continue to receive the funding they need in order to keep our neighborhoods and communities safe, as well as to actively recruit more officers to maintain the recommended 2.5 officers per 1,000 residents recommendation.
This 2021-22 budget also helps to address early childhood education attainment for our most vulnerable communities. I believe a proper education for every child is the first step to raising Phoenix to the standards I know we can achieve.
This budget allocates necessary funding to help address our homeless population and works to create regional solutions with our neighboring municipalities to ensure our City doesn’t bear the brunt of helping our vulnerable community members. This budget also provides necessary funds to our transit department which connects our citizens across the City. I hope to work closely with our Public Transit Department over the next year to develop new routes into the northern part of the City.
Once again, thank you to city staff, who put all their time and effort into creating this budget. And more importantly, thank you to all the Phoenix residents, particularly Council District 1 residents, who participated in this budget process to ensure that everyone had a voice, had an opportunity to advocate for the programs that are important to them, and to share their thoughts and ideas on the future of our city.
All my best,