Dear Mayor Tony Wu and West Covina City Councilmembers,
My name is [YOUR NAME]. I am a resident of West Covina and I am emailing today to urge the City of West Covina to defund the WCPD, and prioritize the needs of the community over a dramatic salary raise for law enforcement. The City of West Covina, per the 2020-2021 Preliminary Budget, allocates $31,163,716 (47%) to law enforcement, an incredible fraction of our city's resources.
West Covina is ranked 17th out of 471 cities in California facing fiscal challenges. Furthermore, we are ranked number ONE in future pension costs and obligations, almost entirely due to our Police Department. If we do not reform our budget now and invest in our community, we will be bankrupt in the next few years.
Despite our pressing financial issue, in October 2019, the West Covina City Council voted 4-1 to raise the salaries of police officers by 12%, which will ultimately cost taxpayers around $600,000 in this current fiscal year and double that the following year. Despite the ongoing economic hardships many residents and small businesses in West Covina face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council has prioritized a salary increase over the essential services and support most needed by residents RIGHT NOW.
I implore the City of West Covina to increase spending in community resources, such as educational enrichment programs, small business resources, affordable housing, and community-centered alternative to public safety. We as a city need a budget that will effectively serve the needs of our community and create a safe environment for all of us during this unprecedented time.
It is now the time to decide whether or not West Covina wants to be on the right side of history. Trust the people of West Covina and listen to what we want, which is a budget for the people and the defunding of our Police Department.
Thank you for your time,
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]