Dear Mayor Colvin,
My name is [NAME] and I am a resident of Fayetteville. I am writing to urge you and the rest of the City Council to amend the proposed budget for 2021 in order to re-allocate funding from the police to social programs proven to more effectively promote a safe and equitable community: community-based mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, affordable housing programs, and more.
The proposed budget for 2021 proposes that 30% of the city’s general fund go to policing; meanwhile, only 0.8% of the city's operating budget is being proposed for economic and community development. This means the city of Fayetteville prioritizes police 30X more than community development. This is unconscionable. Particularly in this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, with many of our community members facing unemployment and housing and food insecurity, it is vital that we reallocate funds to social and community services that will develop our communities and support our residents.
To paraphrase an existing council member, it is not cities with the most police, but rather with the most resources, that are the safest. This will be a long transformational process, but an important first step is reallocating city funding.
Mayor Colvin, can I count on you to commit to an alternative budget that reallocates police funding to improve social services for our community members?
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]