Comment on the Proposed Omaha City Budget – Public Hearing 8/11/2020

Good evening, my name is Terrell McKinney.   I reside at 5319 N 30th st.

Like many, I come here today to speak out against the current budget proposal from our mayor.

I reside in the most over-policed area of our city yet we continue to have complaints about crime. How is that possible if our city has invested millions into our police budget and so-called community programs?

The fact is you can invest billions into the police and the societal ills that have haunted North Omaha will still persist.

It is also true that if your community programs are failing to reach those most in need then maybe you should rethink your strategy.

This city has no commitment to poverty, economic equity, mental health, and anti-racism initiatives.

We currently have no community centers in North Omaha that are not a library or the YMCA that are free for our youth.

Here is a solution to build a community center or centers in north Omaha that are free to the public geared towards engaging our youth primarily the ones that the police like to arrest and harass everyday.

Like many, I have lost friends and family to violence and seen some things that those in west Omaha fantasize about while watching Netflix – but I’m not alone, which is why we need a commitment to mental health and trauma in my community. That’s another solution.

Also, Dundee looks much improved, midtown looks much improved, crossroad will be improved, downtown too. Still north Omaha looks worse year after year.

Here’s a solution: invest in economic equity to empower our small businesses and entrepreneurs so residents of North Omaha can live work and play instead of driving outside of our community to do those activities – initiatives that are led by the community, not predatory philanthropic foundations and developers.

In my opinion, defunding the police simply means to reallocate city resources to help those most in need and those that are disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system.

Last two solutions I would suggest is to first push the mayor to empower those on the citizen review board with full subpoena power to call in law enforcement when needed or hire another independent auditor, and second open up the police contract negotiations to the public.

Since Omaha is perfect these solutions should only improve our city perfection. 2020 has shown us all that anything is possible so get to work.

In conclusion America has never been great; it has always been oppressive and racist since it was established.

Thank you  –  All Power To The People.

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