A Million Dollars for the People
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Dear Asheville City Council,
We are writing as concerned residents of Asheville to ask you to give A Million Dollars to the People.
We are aware that Chief Hooper has asked for a $1 million dollar increase in the Asheville Police Department budget to double the downtown police unit.
We believe that community is what keeps us safe, not more police.
We believe that this expansion will have disparate outcomes for people of color, people without homes, and people living on a low income.
Chief Hooper, herself, said at a Community Police Advisory Committee meeting that increased crime comes from poverty and she cannot do anything about that.
There has only been a 1% increase in crime downtown and that very slight increase does not justify the need for $1 million dollars in an already tight City budget.
We know that increased policing leads to higher jail and prison populations which consequently weakens the community and strains budgets for years to come. Increased policing means that our city becomes even less safe for those of us without papers threatening the safety and sanctity of families.
We call on our Council to be forward thinking and community minded by investing a million dollars in the people.
We ask that this $1 million dollars be dedicated to long term solutions that make the community stronger. These solutions will lift up our fellow community members living in poverty. These solutions will positively change the State of Black Asheville by investing directly in the black community for black owned business creation and resources for jobs and housing that the community itself controls. These solutions will support our Latinx community in creating a sanctuary city.
If we invested $1 million dollars into our public transit budget, for example, we would be creating access to jobs, healthcare, education, childcare, groceries, recreation, and other resources that are life-changing.
We believe that Asheville deserves something better than over-policing. We believe that the community wants a deeper investment in the people.
We recognize that budgets are moral documents and say much about where our priorities as a community stand.
We ask that you will vote to prioritize the needs of the residents of this city: the need for opportunity, access, and resources. We ask you to respond by making a choice to invest in our future. Give a Million Dollars to the People!
Thank you for hearing us!
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