Sign Up to Comment at City Council (SIGN UP TODAY)
Restorative Justice Coalition is part of a dynamic group of organizations known as the People's Safety Coalition. This group includes Tampa Dream Defenders, Black Collective Movement, Tampa Bay Activist Network, and Florida Immigrant Coalition, among others.
We surveyed the community on where funds should go instead of piling them into TPD. While all voices were heard, we prioritized the Black community. We found that many respondents supported: mental health programs, child care programs, housing, and researching alternative crisis intervention options in the city that are disconnected from TPD.
By reallocating funds into these programs, we will see a reduction in what we know as crime, and we will see a community thriving. But we cannot do this on our own! City Council needs to hear from you!
The meeting is Thursday, September 3rd at 5:00pm and it will be conducted virtually.
In order for your public comment to be heard, you need to sign-up TODAY! You have two options: you can leave a voicemail to be played over the track, or if you can (preferred), you can speak live at the event. Instructions, and sample scripting, are provided below.
Complete the form at https://www.tampagov.net/PublicComment AND state on the form under Request Type that you wish to speak live during the public comment period. You will then be contacted with additional instructions for remote live participation. MAKE SURE YOU REQUEST THE 5PM BUDGET HEARING.
Voicemail message with your comments by calling 813-274-8877 (Please follow the prompts when you call.) MAKE SURE YOU VOICE THAT IT IS FOR THE 5PM BUDGET HEARING.
Sample Message/Comment (3 Mins is Your Maximum): "My name is -- and I live in (area of Tampa). I am commenting on the budget for the 5pm meeting. I am deeply concerned with the continued violence the Black community faces in Tampa, as well as other vulnerable communities. It is time to bring Tampa into the future. I support refunding the community, and prioritizing new programs. The City should truly allocate funds into studying programs known to work in other cities, and keep them separate from TPD, such as CAHOOTS, from Eugene, Oregon, or the Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety. Further, the community has been surveyed, and we are calling for universal child care programs that can help working parents achieve quality care. I support moving $34 million from the proposed TPD budget, and suggest moving $140,000 into studying a few of those alternative programs. At least $4 Million should be allocated to a community ran and staffed mental health response team, with at least $13 Million into an equitable housing program, and at least $13 Million into a City Jobs Program, that employs marginalized residents, and those who struggle finding employment. Only through a dramatic shift in our priorities as a City can we truly be a place that stands for equity and justice for all."
(Suggested allocations are based on the survey results Bit.ly/TampaBudget with a priority on Black respondents, but all voices were collected.)