Our Statement on Mayor Cherelle Parker's FY 2025 Budget Address

Members of unions and community groups rally for a people's budget

There's much to commend in Mayor Parker's proposed budget. We are happy to hear about investments in:

- community-led violence prevention
- youth programming such as after school sports programs
- placing therapeutic services for youth at parks and rec centers and libraries
- beautifying our communities with cleaning and greening initiatives

While we always take a critical eye towards further investments in the police budget, we are pleased to see funding for much-needed new hires in 911 dispatch for improvements to overall emergency response times.

At the same time, we are deeply concerned about the Parker administration's stance of defunding harm reduction strategies and we must raise our voices. We urge her to listen to people doing this work. We ask her not to discard decades of proven, evidence-based public health strategies. The city cannot claim to care about people who use drugs while refusing to invest in harm reduction.

We desperately need improvements to our mobile crisis response program. At least 21% of adults in Philadelphia live with a serious mental health diagnosis. That means at any point, 1 in 5 adults in Philly are at risk of a mental health crisis. A trained mental health professional should be the first to respond to those in crisis, not the police. We need to increase the mobile crisis budget to $20 million so we can fully staff teams with well-paying union jobs and implement 24/7 response teams. In the coming months, we hope to work with the administration and city council to see how we can deepen our investments in mental health crisis response in Philadelphia.


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