To Mayor Jensen, Vice Mayor Spector, Town Council Members, and Elected Officers and Staff,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of Los Gatos. I am writing to urge you to defund the Los Gatos Police Department.
LGPD takes an enormous share of the town's general fund at 36.7%. Compared to the FY 2019-20 adopted budget, the proposed budget for FY 2020-21 increases the funding for the LGPD by $647,039, while decreasing the budget for Community Development by $243,069. The proposed budget for the LGPD is more than that of Community Development, Parks & Public Works, and Library Services combined. This investment in policing has not made us safer. Instead, LGPD has served as a lethal threat to Los Gatos' Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. With Los Gatos' current finances in dire jeopardy due to the COVID-19 financial crisis, it is clear that the LGPD budget must be reallocated.
As a Los Gatos resident, I demand that you take immediate action and update the FY 2020-21 budget beginning July 1, 2020 to do the following:
Reduce LGPD’s allocation from the General Fund.
Discontinue use of general fund dollars to pay for settlements due to police murder, misconduct, and negligence.
Invest in housing, jobs, youth programs, restorative justice, and mental health workers to keep the community safe.
I urge you to advocate for a meaningful reallocation of the town's expenditures: away from policing, and towards social programs and resources that support housing, jobs, education, health care, child care, and other critical community needs.
Los Gatos cannot wait any longer for a budget that meets the needs of all its residents. The only way to achieve this is to take immediate steps to divest from LGPD.
[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]