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People's Justice Project critical of Columbus mayor's proposed 2018 budget

The People’s Justice Project held a meeting with Linden community members Tuesday night at a church in Linden, to analyze and discuss Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther's 2018 proposed budget. (WSYX/WTTE)

Mayor Andrew Ginther proposed a 2018 budget worth more than $800 million. The largest portion of the budget is for public safety, which includes 70 new police officer recruits and 80 new firefighter recruits.

The People’s Justice Project held a meeting with Linden community members Tuesday night at a church in Linden. The group has been critical of the mayor’s crime safety plan for years.

“We need to have a stronger investment in community-based programs and not just police and then also making sure that six of the 11 people within the safety advisory commission, are directly affected people by gun violence, police violence and their supporters,” said Amber Evans with the People’s Justice Project

The proposed budget also includes maintaining body cameras.

“For us, it's not about increased use of body cameras. For us, it's about actually addressing the root issue of a culture that is rooted in a bias and prejudice in communities of color and low-income neighborhoods,” said Evans.

The community meeting that was held Tuesday night, included Linden community members who’ve been directly affected by the issues in their neighborhood, including violence. Evans said she is pleased with the efforts everyone made to end the community safety initiative program, but she also said more work has to be done.

City Council will vote on the budget early next year. Members from the People’s Justice Project said they will attend the hearings.

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