Dear Mayor Fulop and Jersey City Council Members:
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of Jersey City. While I applaud Mayor Fulop’s commitment to the Obama Foundation pledge to review and reform police use of force policies, I don’t believe this is enough. Police reforms do not necessarily eliminate police violence: the Minneapolis Police Department had already implemented many reforms, and George Floyd was still murdered. I urge that you take radical steps to defund the police and move towards the goal of reimagining public safety without a police department.
Jersey City’s proposed 2020 Municipal Budget has $111,390,803 allocated to the Division of Police. This is by far the largest fraction of the city’s budget, and is nearly 50% higher than the second largest allocation of funds (Division of Fire’s $76,744,661). It’s an egregious statistic compared to $41,306,177 proposed for the entire Department of Public Works; $8,569,377 for the Department of Housing, Economic Development & Commerce; and $5,282,056 for the Department of Health & Human Services. The allocation for the police alone takes up nearly 20% of the entire $612 million budget.
I am writing to demand that the 2020-2021 Jersey City municipal budget be revised to reallocate funds away from police and towards things like education, healthcare infrastructure (including non-coercive mental healthcare), youth programming, and non-coercive drug and alcohol treatment programming.
Mayor Fulop and city councilors, please consider making these changes that are in the best interest of our community now and for the future.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR PHONE][YOUR EMAIL]