The Mid-Hudson Valley Democratic Socialists of America stands in solidarity with our member, City of Poughkeepsie Common Council Chairperson Sarah Salem, and against attacks on them by the city’s Police Benevolent Association. We support the efforts of Salem, along with colleagues such as Council Member Evan Menist, to make much needed changes to policing in the City of Poughkeepsie. We condemn the PBA’s attempt to overturn the will of the voters with their recent public statement, which calls for Salem to be removed from office by Governor Cuomo.
Chairperson Salem is being targeted because they recognize the need for measures such as reducing police funding, passing the Right to Know Act, and forming a Civilian Review Board. The PBA makes groundless charges that Salem has a “vendetta” against the police department, simply because they advocate for just budget priorities and police accountability.
This attack by the PBA should be understood for what it is: an attack on democracy, by an out-of-control police force that believes they have a veto over the officials and priorities chosen by voters. We refuse to be intimidated by these tactics. We will continue to stand up for our principles, advocate for defunding the police, and support courageous comrades like Council Chairperson Salem.