My name is [NAME]. I am a resident of [CITY/NEIGHBORHOOD], and I am emailing today to demand an overhaul to our Albuquerque Police Department budget in light of the Black Lives Matter protests across the US, but specifically in Albuquerque.
WE ARE JOINING TOGETHER TO DEMAND THAT YOU, MY LOCAL OFFICIALS, WILL:
- Vote no on all increases to police budgets;
- Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets;
- Vote yes to increase spending on healthcare, education, housing, and community programs that keep us safe.
The militarized tactics that police departments are using against citizens is unacceptable and unwarranted. We have seen mounting evidence that police departments are racist and ineffective institutions that put citizens at risk of injury and death, yet the approved 2020 FY budget allocated 64% of our Public Safety fund to the Albuquerque Police Department. To ensure your dedication to our city and citizens, I demand that you defund the Albuquerque Police Department and start providing more support and funding towards our community efforts and organizations that serve our predominantly Black and Latinx communities, as these are the communities that are being targeted the most. By doing so, I believe this will prevent further police brutality and violence in the future.
The Albuquerque Police Department states on the cabq.gov website that “(they) help provide a safe and secure community where the rights, history, and culture of all are respected!” If this true, we demand you listen to our concerns and implement change.
Black and Latinx communities are living in persistent fear of being killed by state authorities like police, immigration agents or even white vigilantes who are emboldened by state actors. According to the Urban Institute, in 1977, state and local governments spent $60 billion on police and corrections. In 2017, they spent $194 billion. A 220 percent increase. Despite continued profiling, harassment, terror and killing of Black communities, local and federal decision-makers continue to invest in the police, which leaves Black and Latinx people vulnerable and our communities no safer.
Where could that money go? It could go towards building healthy communities, to the health of our elders and children, to neighborhood infrastructure, to education, to childcare, to support a vibrant Black and Latinx future. The possibilities are endless.
We join in solidarity with the freedom fighters in Minneapolis, Louisville, and across the United States. And we call for the end to police terror.