Dear City Councilors,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I'm a resident of [YOUR CITY/DISTRICT]. I am writing about the fiscal year 2021 budget for the City of Bloomington.
Mayor Hamilton states that he wants to make Bloomington more "equitable" and to increase the "appeal and attractiveness of our community [...] to a wide diversity of people throughout the city."
Despite those claims, the 2020 budget allocated $12 million, or 26% of the total budget, to the Bloomington Police department, while community services received less than $800,000, or 1.7% of the total budget.
I am asking that the Bloomington City Council make a more overt and visible commitment to the city's Black and Brown communities to combat an over-investment in their criminalization and surveillance. I therefore demand that the Council find ways to redirect money away from the BPD's overinflated budget. I urge you to pressure the mayor for an ethical and equal reallocation of the city's expenditures, away from the BPD, and towards sectors that facilitate the dismantling of racial and class inequality.
Now especially, the City Council can take a supportive stand on racial and social justice by significantly defunding policing and investing in the community instead-starting with housing, transportation, education, community centers, and community-led organizations and projects.
Can I count on you to consider an alternative budget that puts a focus on social services programs?
[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]