Dear Mayor Elicker and New Haven Alderpersons,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [YOUR WARD/NEIGHBORHOOD]. I am writing to demand a more ethical New Haven budget that shifts funds away from the NHPD and towards resources that address community well-being at its core, like public health services, youth programs, social services, public works projects, and education. A disproportionate amount of the city budget is going toward policing when it should be going toward enriching our communities in need with the ultimate goal of ending the need for excessive patrolling on the street.
According to data available in the Proposed Budget for 2020-2021, $43 million was allocated to Police Service. That figure is more than the combined total proposed for Public Health ($11.5 million), Youth & Recreation ($4.8 million), Community Services Administration ($4.5 million), and the Department of Public Works and Parks ($15.9 million). Furthermore, New Haven Public Schools requested a $10.8 million budget increase, were met with a much lower proposal from the Mayor's office of $3.5 million, and in the end, only received a $1 million increase in the final budget proposal.
It is your duty to represent the voices of your constituents. Demonstrations in New Haven show that the people want to see a drastic shift in how community safety is addressed. I join the calls of those across the country and across the globe for a reimagining of public safety that focuses on the health and well-being of our community instead of relying on armed police officers. I am urging you to look at the next city budget as an opportunity to create long term, effective change in New Haven.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]