Dear City Officials,
My name is [YOUR NAME], and I’m a resident of Canandaigua, NY. I am writing about the Canandaigua fiscal year 2021 budget and calling for you to review city policies surrounding police.
I am asking that the City of Canandaigua makes a more overt and visible commitment to racial justice. I demand that the budget be amended and reviewed so that Council may find ways to redirect money away from Canandaigua Police Department’s overinflated budget. I urge you to pressure the City Manager’s Office and your colleagues towards an ethical reallocation of the city’s expenditures, away from PD, and towards sectors that facilitate the dismantling of racial and class inequality.
Research shows that a living wage, access to health services and treatment, educational opportunity, and stable housing are far more successful at promoting community safety than police or prisons. As such, I demand more aggressive financial support be directed to those areas. New York and our city’s budgets are already struggling. We need to devote more money to building community and community resources across the state.
Do not forget our poor communities and communities of color in New York State who are disproportionate targets of police violence. The "wellness check" that ended in Sandy Guardiola's shooting death in 2017 should have served as a wake-up call. It's not too late to prevent another violent and wholly unnecessary death. Justice will only be served when the police are reformed, and this will not be possible until we defund them.
Can I count on you to consider an alternative budget and that puts a focus on social services rather than criminalization?
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]