Dear Mayor O’Brien and Riverbank City Council Members,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [NEIGHBORHOOD/CITY]. I am writing to demand that the Riverbank City Council adopt a budget that prioritizes community wellbeing, and redirects funding away from the police.
I am asking the Riverbank City Council to commit to racial justice and to not be complicit in further promoting a system of policing that reinforces systemic oppression. To do so, I demand future funding for the police department be redirected elsewhere. In 2019, this fiscal year, police services were allocated over $4 million, the only department with six-digit funding. This year, the police received 41% of the city’s funds, leaving the remaining 59% to be distributed across 14 departments. This is unfathomable. This subsidy promotes and encourages a system based in racial and class inequality.
Research has shown, time and again, that it is not the police (or prisons) that promote community safety—it is affordable housing, educational opportunities, community violence intervention programs, and access to holistic health treatment. Misdemeanors are often caused by unsupportive environments, and policing and incarceration only further contribute to financial and mental instability. Support funding departments that prioritize your constituents rather than aggressively funding a system far beyond repair.
Can I count on you to consider an alternative budget that, rather than emphasizing law enforcement, defunds it and reallocates funding to social services with a proven impact on the welfare of your constituents, such as housing and education?
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]