To whom it may concern,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a Baltimore resident. I am one of many Baltimore City residents urging our City Council members and Mayor Jack Young to ethically reallocate the Baltimore City Expense Budget. We are asking our elected officials to divest from the BPD, and invest in social services and education programs, effective at the beginning of FY 2021. We have seen clearly from experience, and from all current research, that armed police do not promote community safety and wellbeing, and in many instances perpetuate violence. Several City Council members have already made clear that they stand with the residents of Baltimore City on this and plan to vote in favor of these types of changes in next week's budget hearings. They have also made us aware of the fact that the Baltimore Police Department is not locally controlled by the City Council as it is a state agency. Because of this, Baltimore City Government only has so much ability to implement change.
I am reaching out to you today to urge you to support the residents of Baltimore City in our efforts. We have had enough of the violent approach to "controlling" poverty and are ready to completely re-imagine what community safety looks like. Investment in programs such as the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Baltimore Children and Youth Fund, Safe Streets Baltimore, the Office of Employment and Development, or the Department of Health shows our commitment to communities and the vision that all Baltimore residents deserve to thrive. It's time to defund the BPD’s harmful expansion into homeless services, schools, youth services, mental health, and other social services where police don’t belong. It’s time to increase investments in human services, the social safety net, and racial and economic justice.
We ask that you support us in our effort towards finding sustainable, long-term change by giving control of BPD to Baltimore's local government and in any other ways you can. It is time for change--we know we can build a better future based on restorative justice and healing.