Dear Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter and City Council Members,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a San Leandro [RESIDENT/BUSINESS OWNER] writing to urge you to defund San Leandro PD.
SLPD takes an enormous share of the city’s general fund (35%), and that percentage has risen exponentially for the last two decades, taking away desperately needed resources from essential city programs and services. In the 2018-2019 Biennial Budget, the City of San Leandro allocated roughly $39 million dollars to our police system, an inordinate 34.7% of our total budget. This is compared to just $6.5 million allocated towards community development (5.7% of the budget) and recreation & human services (4.6% of the budget). The investment in policing has not made us safer – SLPD remains an embarrassment to the city and a lethal threat to San Leandro’s Black and Brown communities, while increased police spending has not returned a decrease in crime rate. With fiscal responsibility being a primary goal of this council, it is clear that you must defund the police and reallocate resources into community programs.
The projected budget for 2020-2021 for San Leandro PD still sits at 35% of the general budget, at $42,000,485, while community development is projected at 6% of the general fund, recreation & human services at 4% of the budget, and public works also at 6%.
Within the community development budget, $307,662 was spent on the City Innovation Division for the 2018-2019 budget (8% of budget) and has been slashed to a projected $3,434 for 2019-2020 & 2020-2021 (0.0005% of community development budget for 2020-2021). Additionally within the community development budget for 2019-2020, $326,264 was spent for housing services (4%), and $429,568 for code compliance (6%). The projected budgets for 2020-2021 come to $341,211 for housing services (5% of budget) and $458,203 for code compliance (7% of the budget).
As a San Leandro resident, I demand that you take immediate action to ensure the following:
Reduce SLPD’s allocation from the General Fund by 50% ($21,000,242.50)
Discontinue use of general fund dollars to pay for settlements due to police murder, misconduct, and negligence
Reallocate the now available $21,000,242.50 from SLPD into 2020-2021 budgets for Human Services, Community Development, and Public Works with focus and priority on housing, jobs, youth programs, restorative justice, and mental health workers to keep the community safe.
San Leandro cannot wait any longer for a budget that meets the needs of its residents. The only way to achieve this is to take immediate steps to Defund SLPD.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE]