Updates to Abolition Action Agendas and Resources Coming Soon!

Budget Feedback & Policy Request Templates

PLEASE NOTE: Remember to make your subject line unique so that they cannot block incoming emails with matching subject lines.

Template for "Comment on the Proposed Budget" (available until the June 15th Budget Adoption meeting)

 

Instructions:

 

1) Copy the text to the right or download the Word file via the word icon.

2) Click on the "Comment" image below to go to the Comment Form on the CityofWS.org website

3) Paste the text into the comment section and share it with the Budget and Evaluation team. Please edit the template however you wish!

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Dear Budget and Evaluation Team Members,

I’m writing to express my support of City Council committing to a long-term plan for 1) disinvesting from WSPD and 2) reinvesting in our community’s social services and economic development. I demand that Mayor Allen Joines and City Council prioritize care not cops. I demand drastic changes to Winston-Salem’s 2020-2021 proposed city budget, as well as a commitment to disinvesting from WSPD well beyond this fiscal year. 

Defund the Police: 52.5% of the General Fund is proposed to be allocated to Public Safety, totaling $112.5 million, with $78,711,550 of that for the Police Department. On June 15th, City Council will vote on reallocating $1 million from WSPD to 1) doubling the summer youth employment program, 2) raising the city’s minimum wage to $14/hr, 3) committing $320,000 to people facing eviction, and 4) committing $190,000 to boost the number of people the city helps with a program to help ex-offenders (Public Safety Committee meeting, June 8). I want a budget that continues this investment in our priorities and needs, and I support the continued work by your Budget Evaluation team, City Council, and local leaders in finding more ways to use the budget for giving our community the support it deserves and is asking for via peaceful protests and letters to our elected leaders.

Signed, 

[INSERT NAME] [INSERT ADDRESS]

 

Template for Writing to Your City Council Member on the Proposed 2020-2021 Budget

City Council Contact Information:

John C. Larson (South Ward): john.larson@cityofws.org

Robert C. Clark (West Ward): robertc@cityofws.org

Jeff MacIntosh (Northwest Ward): jeffm@cityofws.org

Dan Besse (Southwest Ward): danb@cityofws.org

Morticia Parmon (Northwest Ward): morticiap@cityofws.org

Annette Scippio (East Ward): annettes@cityofws.org

Denise D. Adams (North Ward): denisea@cityofws.org

James Taylor, Jr. (Southeast Ward): jamestjr@cityofws.org

For Ward Information and phone numbers, please go to: https://www.cityofws.org/570/Wards-Council-Members

Instructions:

 

1) Copy the text to the right or download the Word file via the word icon.

2) Refer to the City Council Contact Information.

3) Paste the text into an email and share it with your City Council Representative. Please edit the template however you wish!

Dear City Council Member [INSERT NAME],

 

My name is ______ and I am writing from zip code _____ regarding the proposed City of Winston-Salem budget that allocates 52.5% of the General Fund to Public Safety, totaling $112.5 million, with $78,711,550 of that for the Police Department. Like you, I express a commitment to staying involved with my community, and therefore continuing the demand to defund WSPD. The only way to continue the work of reinvesting in our community services is by disinvesting from WSPD, where the majority of the General Fund is allocated. Furthermore, our country and our local community needs to come together in recognizing that defunding police departments is not only a way of moving money to community services, it is the way of reducing crime and therefore protecting our citizens from police brutality.

Racial disparities in policing are so well documented that I don’t need to recite them to you. You know that black and brown people are pulled over and arrested more than white people. You know that black and brown people are also at much higher risk of being killed by police officers. 

“Studies show that black men in America are up to 3.5 times more likely than whites to be killed by law enforcement; 1 in every 1,000 black men will die at the hands of police.” 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/e1a2a1b0-a669-11ea-b619-3f…

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article…

 

North Carolina is no different:

State: North Carolina

State Population: 9,535,483

Total People Killed by Police, 2013-2019: 204

Avg Annual Police Killings Rate for All People: 3.056

Black People Killed by Police, 2013-2019: 77

Avg Annual Police Killings Rate for Black People: 5.369

https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/states

And now, police across our country are using excessive force (“excessive force” actually seems wholly inadequate as a phrase) against those who are rising up to demand change. Peaceful protestors are being tear gassed, spat on, physically assaulted, and shot with rubber bullets.

And, let's not forget, killed: https://www.theguardian.com/…/george-floyd-protests-people-…

​Intimidating police with military gear are treating the people of our country like war enemies. It is clear that the police are not acting to protect and serve, but rather to intimidate, bully, and seek revenge.

In the Public Safety Committee Meeting on June 8th, it was made clear that WSPD is highly accredited (earning the Calea Tri Arc Award this coming July), and although this accreditation can make citizens feel secure and safe with WSPD, I recognize that this level of accreditation comes with a monetary cost that should be more focussed on community services, not the police department. If we truly want violent crimes to stop, we need more people to be able to be involved in community services, education, arts, affordable housing initiatives, and economic development.

The ultimate solution is defunding the police. If I do not see swift and real action to protect everyone and especially black and brown people, I will see no choice but to demand that our money not be spent on law enforcement.

I am a taxpayer and I don’t want a cent of my money to continue being spent on abusing, profiling, and murdering black and brown people.

I hope that we can do better and fight to ensure these shameful wrongs are not perpetuated into our future.

Sincerely,

[INSERT NAME] [INSERT ADDRESS]

Here's a very clear article on defunding the police:https://www.theatlantic.com/…/archive/2020/06/defun…/612682/

And here are resources for better understanding how City Council can work towards disinvesting from the police: https://www.reclaimtheblock.org, https://www.mpd150.com/, https://peoplesbudgetla.com/

Template for requesting police policies be made public

 

Instructions:

 

1) Copy the text to the right or download the Word file via the word icon.

2) Paste the text into an email to City Manager Lee Garrity (info@cityofws.org) and Public Safety Committee Chair Taylor (jamestjr@cityofws.org) and send it. Please edit the template however you wish!

Dear City Manager Lee Garrity and Public Safety Committee Chair Taylor,

I ask that you make all WSPD police policy and the “trends of local crime” records public on the CityofWS.org website. I am aware that council members and city leaders are reviewing policy and “trends of local crime over the past 3-5 years” as a way of informing conversations on the City Budget; I believe that the public should have access to this information as well to inform our own knowledge on the topic of the budget and the City’s address of nationwide and local police brutality. I thank you for this commitment to staying informed on the actions of WSPD, as well as the commitment to maintaining unity in our community.

Sincerely,

[INSERT NAME], [INSERT ADDRESS]