Atlanta: This is what you say to your council members

Atlanta demonstration for Black Lives Matter on Sun., May 31. Photo credit: A.R. Frank.

Resources provided by @panthersforblackfeminism which was inspired by original post, How to Defund the Police if You Live in New York by Eric Hu. Detailed script provided by contributor and Atlanta resident Kevin Brown.

The proposed budget for FY21 is here. Find your city council member representative here. The entire directory with phone numbers and email addresses for individual council members is here.

Email your representative as well as:
Charles Bell, Budget/Fiscal Policy Chief
[email protected]

Shawn A. Gabriel, Director Budget Admin
[email protected]

Good afternoon, 

My name is [INSERT NAME HERE] and I am a resident of [INSERT NEIGHBORHOOD HERE]. I am asking that, in light of the use of excessive police force in reaction to peaceful protesting and just in terms of proper distribution in general, that money be redirected away from the Atlanta PD and into any or all of the following services: Department of Planning and Community Development, Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Department of Ethics, and especially the woefully underfunded Atlanta Citizens Review Board. 

As this city continues to struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic and faces a $40 million deficit, we will need more than ever to divest public funding into areas which can actually serve to help rebuild our economy. In addition to the aforementioned departments, the Department of Human Resources is also currently depleted and is worthy of our city\’s spending. As the entire state faces down unprecedented unemployment numbers and an indefinitely altered future until a vaccine is secured, our city and its leaders need to focus our monetary efforts on reimagining what the new normal looks like and to pave the way for other cities to follow in our footsteps. We do not need to put a single cent into to a police department that makes national news for its misconduct, that teargasses its citizens without provocation, and that is spending an inordinate amount of time and resources detaining those exercising their constitutional right to protest

I implore you all to consider every possible course of action in regards to defunding the Atlanta Police Department (APD) as they have sown a massive distrust within the people of this city since the beginning of peaceful George Floyd protests through their use of aggression, tactical war games, and deceitfulness. I can assure you I do not stand alone in this opinion (just look at the consistently increasing numbers of protestors in your streets). I also urge you to put a halt to the $18 million of funding into the Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC), which Mayor Bottoms promised to close in 2018.

If you do not act soon, that distrust will grow exponentially. I know you all love this city, just as much as myself and everyone else who calls Atlanta home, but it is time you started siding with its people instead of its corrupted authority figures. I formally request that an emergency meeting be called before the fiscal year goes into effect on July 1 in order to deny Mayor Bottoms\’ proposed budget, and that we reallocate the APD and ACDC funds elsewhere. Move the funds from cuffs to care to help empower our city as we restore and heal.

The winds of change are sweeping through this country and I know we can be on the right side of history, but it starts here and now, and not a moment later. This is an extremely crucial moment. I hope you take advantage and let Atlanta be the beginning of setting this country on the right path.



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