Dear Mayor Bynum, Tulsa City Council, and County Board of Commissioners,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [NEIGHBORHOOD/WARD]. The City of Tulsa must do better by its residents. I am urging you to divest from the criminalization of our community and reduce police spending in the budget for the 2021 fiscal year. The Tulsa City Council will review and discuss the Mayor’s proposed budget and must approve a budget for the upcoming fiscal year at least seven days prior to June 30, the end of the City’s fiscal year. After the budget has been approved, Fiscal Year 20 -21 will begin July 1.
As a Tulsan, I demand the Mayor and City Council amend the proposed budget in order to create an ethical reallocation of the city’s expenditures towards sectors that facilitate the dismantling of racial and class inequality. This includes, but is not limited to improving access to health services and treatment, educational opportunity, and stable housing, which have proven far more successful at promoting community safety and social equity than policing. As such, I demand more aggressive financial support be directed to those areas.
Tulsa is the site of one of the greatest race massacres in our nation's history. Just days ago was the 99th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, yet our Black friends and neighbors in this city are still under attack. I know many of you feel strongly about racial justice and equity. It is time to take action. Individual solutions will not fix systemic problems. It is time for Tulsa, its leaders, and residents to create a more equitable city for ALL of us. Have the moral clarity to create a budget focused on communities instead of investing in a racist and destructive institution. Defund the Tulsa Police Department.