Dear Santa Monica City Managers and Council Members:
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD]. I am writing to demand the reallocation of resources to prioritize the safety and well-being of the city, and away from policing.
In the fiscal year of 2019-2020, Santa Monica's Police Departments' allocated budget has escalated to a total of $97 million. Their budget has increased by 5.7% ($5 million) since the fiscal year of 2018-2019. This funding is in sharp contrast to the decrease of 19.1% ($2 million) spent towards affordable housing and economic development, and the meager increase of 3.1% ($1 million) in community and cultural services.
Despite the increased budget towards the police department every year, the City of Santa Monica has not seen a meaningful improvement in public safety. On the contrary, the systematic and disproportionate targeting of minority groups and residents of color has caused people in our city to live in fear. Police brutality, injustice, and discrimination are intolerable issues of significant importance, yet there have been no signs of improvement in our police systems to ensure equal treatment of the whole community.
I request that you reconsider excessive spending on policing when these resources can be distributed towards ensuring the health and well-being of all those that reside in our city, by focusing on homelessness, restorative justice, employment, affordable housing, youth programs, public education, and mental health. It is evident throughout history that the challenges of solving social issues have been overcome when they are able to address the problem rather than merely treating its symptoms.
Again, I ask of you as a concerned resident, please consider the demands to improve our community.
Thank you for your time,
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR PHONE][YOUR EMAIL]