Urge the D.C. Council to reject Mayor Bowser's budget increase for police.
The recent protests in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others by law enforcement have made one thing clear: we must take real steps to dismantle racist systems and do the hard work of overhauling our approach to public safety.
This means ending our over-reliance on police and demonstrating that Black Lives Matter through real actions, not just words or street art.
The D.C. Council is currently considering Mayor Bowser's proposed fiscal year 2021 budget, which makes cuts to important social service programs and public health resources while investing an additional $18.5 million in the D.C. police department. This is in addition to the D.C. police department's current annual budget of over half a billion dollars.
Enough. We cannot afford to continue along the same failing path.
Will you take 2 minutes to contact the D.C. Council? <[link removed]>
The Council's Committee of the Whole is holding important hearings on the D.C. Budget on June 17 and 18. We need as many voices as possible to contact the Council this week and tell District leaders to divest from harmful law enforcement practices. For too long, we've turned to the police to address issues they are ill-equipped to handle, from responding to a mental health crisis to discipline in schools. It's time the Council invests in D.C. communities and divests from the police.
It's time to spend our tax dollars on solutions that actually make our communities safer: addressing the root causes of community violence by making significant investments in violence prevention and intervention, trauma services, health care, housing, and education.
Black D.C. residents continue to suffer from trauma through generations of systemic police brutality and harassment. We cannot continue to invest in tactics that inflict active harm on communities and do little to meaningfully address community safety concerns.
Please take a moment to contact your councilmembers and help bring about this transformational change to invest in Black lives in our communities. <[link removed]>
Thank you for your support right now and always,
Executive Director, ACLU of the District of Columbia