TELL D.C. COUNCILMEMBERS: IT’S TIME TO DIVEST FROM MPD AND INVEST IN BLACK LIVES!

TAKE ACTION NOW

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 overreliance 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.

We cannot continue to invest in tactics that inflict active harm on communities and do little to meaningfully address community safety concerns. It’s time to spend our tax dollars on solutions that actually make our communities safer: school-based mental health support, violence prevention and intervention, trauma services, health care, housing, and education.

Email your Councilmembers today. Urge them to reject the Mayor’s proposal, divest from police in the D.C. Budget, and invest in effective programs and resources that make ALL D.C. communities safer.

Message Recipients:
Chairman Phil Mendelson
Chair Pro Tempore Kenyan McDuffie
Councilmembers

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Your Message

As a D.C. resident, I’m writing to urge you to use your power over the D.C. Budget to end the District’s over-reliance on policing by rejecting Mayor Bowser’s $18.5 million increase for the Metropolitan Police Department, divesting from MPD, and investing in programs and resources that actually make our communities safe, including violence intervention, trauma services, health care, housing, and school-based mental health.

D.C. is the most policed jurisdiction in the nation. Black District residents are the targets of the overwhelming number of stops, searches, and arrests by MPD. They are also the largest victims of excessive use of force by MPD and of killings by police officers. At the same time, there’s no evidence that expanding the police force leads to a reduction in community violence. In fact, the homicide rate in the District has increased as the size of our police department has increased.

For too long, we’ve turned to 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 police. The safest communities have the most resources, not the most police.

As communities across the nation and in the District demand justice for the thousands of Black people who have been killed by law enforcement, it’s more critical than ever for the D.C. Council to reject the Mayor’s budget increase for MPD, divest from police, and invest in life-affirming services which would allow Black and Brown communities to not only survive, but to thrive.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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