My name is [YOUR NAME], and I’m a resident of Charleston, West Virginia. I am writing about the Charleston fiscal year 2021 budget and call for you to review city policies surrounding police.
I am asking that the City of Charleston 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 Charleston Police Department’s overinflated budget. I urge you to pressure the City Manager’s Office and our local officials towards an ethical and equal 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 holistic health services and treatment, educational opportunity, and stable housing are far more successful at reducing crime than police or prisons (Source: Popular Democracy). As such, I demand more aggressive financial support be directed to those areas. West Virginia 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 West Virginia who are disproportionate targets of police violence. 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 review policing methods that puts a focus on social service programs?
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]