Dear Mayor Fung and Cranston City Council,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [YOUR DISTRICT/NEIGHBORHOOD]. I am writing to urge Governor Raimondo, Mayor Fung, and the members of the Cranston City Council to adopt a budget redirecting funding from the Cranston Police Department to initiatives that better serve the wellbeing of the community. It has become clear that police do not meet the needs of the community and are in fact a detriment to community safety, furthering the oppression of residents of color, undocumented residents, disabled residents, mentally ill residents, and LGBTQ residents.
The mayor’s office has proposed a police budget of $25,578,656 for FY21. This includes $100,000 to keep police in Cranston public schools, contributing to the criminalization of youth and the school-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately targets Black students and students of color within the Cranston Public School system.
Imagine what over $25 million could do for this community if it was invested in education, community mental health services, resources for formerly incarcerated, housing, and other services that have been proven to reduce crime and contribute to the safety and well-being of communities.
Cranston may be a small city in a tiny state, but we have shown that we can make a huge impact on America at large. We desperately need to change our financial priorities and let our tax dollars go to our community, not cops.