Dear Mayor Bill Muntz & Lakeland City Commission,
My name is [YOUR NAME]. I live in [AREA, NEIGHBORHOOD]. Today I am writing to you to demand that you defund the police department and reallocate those funds into community programs that keep our community safe, such as affordable housing, education, jobs and healthcare.
According to the Annual Budget for FY2020, the recommended funding for the Police Department came in at over $45,032,613, or 24% of General Governmental Funds. This is an astronomical number both alone and when compared to the budgets of other departments. This budget should be reallocated and reinvested in the community rather than the militarized police force that we have seen clashing with peaceful protestors.
I demand that the City Council begin meaningfully defunding the Lakeland Police Department and reallocate those funds to 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. I demand a budget that reflects the actual needs of Lakeland residents.
I call on City Council as well as the Mayor to invest in the citizens of Lakeland and to set an example for Polk County, Florida, and for the nation as a whole. With these initiatives, we can lead the nation in a new way that’s been previously unimagined.
Can I count on you to reallocate and reinvest these funds? If not, you can count on me to make sure you are voted out.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]