Dear Mayor Lyles, City Manager Jones, and Charlotte City Council,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [district/neighborhood]. I write to express my concern that status quo funding of the CMPD is wholly inappropriate at a time when Charlotte residents ravaged by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are in urgent need—not of further policing and criminalization, but of meaningful reprioritization towards their social wellbeing.
Specifically, Black Charlotteans have not only experienced disproportionate deaths from COVID-19, but have long been policed and incarcerated at rates far above their share of the population. The CMPD uses lethal force against Black residents over 3 times as often as white residents. Longstanding police tactics, as exemplified most recently by the violent repression of peaceful protests uptown, have been wrought against the interests of our city’s wellbeing. As such, a CMPD that siphons over 40% of the city’s general fund is unacceptable.
Decades of scholarship show that education and social programs are much more effective at promoting safer communities than policing, and yet the city’s answer to every perceived problem has the continued expansion of the CMPD.
I implore you to advocate for the revision of the 2021 budget, for a meaningful reduction in the proposed $290,200,000 allocated for policing from the general fund, and a reallocation of these funds towards housing, education, and targeted support for marginalized communities.
Thank you for your attention,
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]