Dear Mayor Michael Villalta and Council members,
My name is [NAME] and I am a resident of Los Banos. I am emailing today to demand that you vote no on the Mayor's FY21 proposed budget. Furthermore, I urge you to pressure the office of the mayor towards an ethical and equal reallocation of the Los Banos expense budget, away from LBPD and towards social services and education programs, effective at the beginning of FY21.
I urge you and the rest of the city council to amend or deny the proposed budget for 2021. Redirect money away from LBPD and into social service programs that will benefit public health and our own communities, especially communities of color. The proposed budget for 2019-2020 suggests that the largest fraction of the city's budget should go to policing ($14,881,614), which is over 24% larger than even the second largest allocation of funds, fire ($5,268,311). If this is truly representative of the council's thoughts on how funds should be allocated, I am ashamed to call Los Banos my home and I am ashamed to call you my elected officials.
Transitioning funding away from [POLICE DEPT] and into community programming such as educational opportunities, arts programs, community centers, healthcare, and mental health resources will strengthen our communities and make them safer for everyone. When every person has the resources they need to be healthy and safe, our community can thrive. This is a long transition process but change starts with reallocating this funding!
We don't need a militarized police force. We need to create a space in which more mental health service providers, social workers, victim/survivor advocates, religious leaders, neighbors, and friends - all of the people who really make up our community - can look out for one another. Mayor Villalta, will you look out for me, and will you look out for us?
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]