Dear Mayor Demings and County Commissioners,
My name is [YOUR NAME], a resident of Orange County, Florida. In light of the recent protests surrounding police brutality, I am writing to request that your budget for next year prioritize community well-being and redirect funding away from law enforcement initiatives that continue to disproportionately target Black, Brown, and Indigenous Americans and other minorities.
The 2019-2020 budget allotted $279 million to police services, a $16.4 million increase over the previous period. I understand safety is a top priority for Orange County. However, after witnessing these tragic encounters with the police that keep occurring time and time again, it’s naive to think that having more officers and a bigger budget will actually contribute to keeping communities safer.
I propose that instead of increasing police budgets, we increase the budget for Mayor Demings' Housing for All Task Force and other programs that will bolster education, help people in need, and reduce the need for punitive policing. I also propose removing all police from schools in order to cut the school-to-prison pipeline.
As your constituent, I urge you to explore how Orange County can mitigate the harm that has been caused by overpolicing, and to create a community where residents have the resources to break the cycle of criminality that has been the norm for so many years.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE]