Dear Gainesville and Alachua County Commissions,
My name is [NAME], and I am a resident of [DISTRICT/NEIGHBORHOOD].
I DEMAND THAT YOU, MY LOCAL OFFICIALS, WILL:
- Vote no on all increases to police budgets.
- Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets.
- Vote yes to increase spending on health care, education and community programs that keep us safe.
In 2020, the City of Gainesville has allocated $42.25 million dollars to the police department, and $59.66 million to law enforcement in general. Housing and Urban Planning-- something residents everywhere but especially on the East side need-- was allocated 6.06 million. Similarly, Alachua county has allocated almost $100m to the Sheriff's department, while community support services receive only 1/5 of this total, or less than 5% of the county budget.
People of color in American, specifically Black people, know that the police don’t keep neighborhoods and communities safe. Police presence leads to brutality and criminalization, which is why we are demanding a defunding of police and a reallocation of resources towards community investment. Black people like Tony McDade (Tallahassee), Trayvon Martin (Orlando), and Jamee Johnson (Jacksonville) cannot keep dying at the hands of police and white actors emboldened by the state.
In the time of COVID-19, which disproportionately affects communities of color, there is no excuse for the increases in funds to law enforcement proposed for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
I urge you to advocate for a defunding of police and requisite funding of actual community needs.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]