We have assurances from 3 out of 5 councilmembers that no cuts to Culver City Police Department will be made that will result in any layoffs. CCPD is freezing new hiring and that’s it. That’s not stopping a fringe group organized by councilmembers Lee and Sahli-Wells from pushing a radical demand to defund CCPD by 50% in three months. As we’ve said before, the intent of such cuts is to abolish CCPD entirely, leaving our city at the mercy of the county Sheriff. They’ve referred to this in their demand note.
We knew that getting council to forego gutting CCPD’s budget tomorrow would, at best, buy us some time. That’s why our “Defend Don’t Defund” campaign is still going strong. We recommend everyone get a yard sign, and distribute flyers to their neighbors about what’s at stake. People should also join the council Webex meeting tomorrow and “raise their hand” to speak.
We know online meetings are difficult to navigate. You can also file an eComment (read the tutorial here) or just e-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. But speaking at council is the best way to make yourself heard. Supporters of defunding CCPD are a small minority, but they are loud, well organized, and connected to councilmembers. They will try to get in line first to speak, and pretend they’re the dominant voice.
Here’s how you can speak tomorrow:
- Register for tomorrow’s meeting online at this link.
- Once you have registered, you will be emailed a link. Check email and confirm your account.
- The DAY OF the meeting (Monday 6/22) you will receive an email allowing you to “Join Event”. Follow that link and it will forward you to Webex. You will have a box on your screen to write “I (state your name) request to speak on Agenda Item (PH-1 for budget, A-2 for police task force).
- You will be set up and on mute, until they are ready for you to speak, and they will unmute you.
If this sounds confusing, it is. We still need more details and confirmation on this – like when we are clear to join the meeting. Our goal is to make sure they don’t monopolize the first part of the meeting.
Some talking points to make when you speak:
- Thank council for promising us to be able to debate on this issue before they make any profound changes to our police department. We hope they follow through on this promise today.
- Our police department heroically saved this city May 30-31. Cutting the police budget would leave them unable to do exactly what they did that weekend.
- We passed Measure CC (extending the half-cent sales tax increase) in March overwhelmingly, because council invoked our police department and our need to preserve it. To turn around and gut it now, would mean they lied about why they needed this tax increase.
- Our police department enjoys a 78% approval rating. Council, on the other hand, has a 47% approval rating. Council’s rating has dropped precipitously since this time last year.
- We are barely keeping up with these “defund the police” plans that are unagendized and unannounced to Culver City residents. We hope these next three months will involve a legitimate discussion and not just legal cover before council goes along with this tiny minority.