Heidi Reitmeier - HHSAB Meeting-071520
3:20AM Jul 28, 2020
before we get started,
I just want to take a little time I sent you all the draft minutes from the July meeting. And I want to kind of do a little bit of level setting around what we're doing and give you some other context around the letter and what more importantly ultimately what what it is. Oh. So you know as to, as to the minutes I'm sure you all read Brian's well summarized piece at the end where he talked about, you know, one of the things that the board really wants to do is be a provocateur, and move this this conversation around structural racism, funding for human services, needs and you know, policing, community policing and the need for reform to the council. And so I think that that's something that we need to keep in mind as we think about this letter. I think the other, you know, other context to think about is ultimately, what is the goal of what other parts of the goal Do we need to consider as we as we look at the center? And then also, last night, there was a presentation to council it, I'm not sure if you were all if you all had a chance to see it. Around the city's finances, and we are currently in we currently have an 1,000,011 million dollar shortfall for 2020. And so when you think about the consequences of asking, you know, 10% what that would mean for overall budget issues and Particularly the public safety fund, including up to the laying off of police officers, staff. So I think we just want to make sure that we, we think about what is the ultimate goal of this letter? And what do we want to ensure that happens? And then the last thing is, what what other options do we have as a board around how we move forward? The conversation around equity and diversity and inclusion and ending racism in our own, you know, for lack of a better word, our own home? Yeah, so those are just things to think about as we move forward with this conversation. With that being said,
I love to
one how do we want to do what we do pull up
matters. Those that are the answer that I just kind of wanted to get from the board when opened up for discussion and then also guidance and how to how do we we look at those letters or those revisions.
I mean, I think I would be in favor of looking at Madeline's letter first.
Alright, so I'm gonna, I'm gonna pull up yours first valid. Okay.
So it'll be on the screen here. So I'm going to scroll back up and we'll just scroll down slowly.
And so you get a chance everybody to read
and that was a little too fast for me on Berto All right, thanks.
So I really like that adilyn I think the only thing I'm worried about, you know, based on the feedback as I understood it from the meeting was that there was a strong I think that at least a couple of people really felt like we needed to completely separate the police aspect, which is not my view. But if, if that is the conscience of the group, then we probably need to address that first. Did you guys have a different impression than I did about that? You think everybody was on board with with suggesting the funding come from the police department.
I don't know that everybody was on board with it. I felt like people were open to that but just had some concerns about it. But maybe there were a couple of people that were hesitant to that
I thought they want it done. I didn't get the sense that they wanted to back away from that I got the sense that they wanted us to be a little more a little have put more teeth in, in not demanding it but the little bit more direct in what we were asking. That was
my take. Okay,
well, then it could be wrong.
could be wrong.
Yeah, I, I got it. I felt that there's at least a couple of board members that did not, did not think that that having a direct ask from the police was
the best way to move forward.
And to to, you know, in all honesty, my concern is that, again, going back to the question about what is it that we want to achieve Is with doing that. And with that make it a non starter conversation at Council. Yeah.
So I think the letter has two primary goals. One is to increase funding for human services. And second goal is to ask Council in the community to consider the value proposition as a community where the money is and that I think it's the conscience of you know, this inflection point in society that funds be moved from the standard policing model, or into more of a human service model. And I think we have to put that in somewhere. And that's why you know, I like your edits model. And I wonder to satiate the people who are like no, we can attack the police We add a clause in there that says, you know, hey, our primary goal is to increase human service funding. If, you know, we don't want to create a non starter by bringing up the police department, but maybe we do. I mean, maybe, you know, people just need to get over it. And I mean,
well, yeah, the majority of people were, I mean, yeah, there were a few people that a couple of people that were very, leaning very heavily towards not touching anything police related. But then I thought the majority, the rest of the group, basically said, you know, they did disagree with them, but at the same time, they didn't stop us.
True. So that brings up a good question. You know, this letter says the board unanimously.
Oh, yeah. Yeah, you can take that.
Yeah, I think that's a great a great thing. Yeah, just take out the word unanimously. All we need is a majority vote.
And we do that, if that is the case.
No, no, I just said we did have a majority vote, but it wasn't. Yeah, that was just strike that. Well, you know, because at the same time, the people that were still very sympathetic toward the police and not touching it, at the same time, they didn't absolutely say unequivocally No, don't do that. But they just said how they felt. And actually how they felt was no different than how we felt. They've done a great job. Yes. And yeah, they've done a great job. And, you know, if they're, if the if we're going to look at, you know, ri a D funding, but definition of what that means. Then I didn't get the sense that they would just I don't know. I didn't get the sense that they were like, 100 No, you can't do this. Don't do that, though. They were like, Well, you know, they've done such a great job at it. And I don't know, I didn't get the sense that they were. I don't know. But yeah, you did take unanimously out because they did voice concern
to people. That
if I'm not interrupting your meddling, but my thought was that if we end up getting unanimous vote on this, we can always move to amend letter. The word unanimous. Yeah.
Yep. Yeah. So I'm not I'm not hung up on anybody. Just let them
I wrote it as a as a as a platform for a starting point, springboard, so we didn't have to start at Ground Zero.
So yeah, I guess Alberto, we could just take out the word unanimous and if by chance it is unanimous we'll add that back. And I think you know, the the reading that Polly sent that that email and having some clarity around the funding that a lot of the programs that people like about the police department like lead and Corps and Angel initiative aren't funded with the money we're asking to be pulled from anyway, that it's grant grant funding those those programs so, um, as far as I can tell, all the programs people are like, this is great the police department keep doing it's not attached to
the general fund.
Oh, that's good. Which means mean so to this letters point, right.
You know, I
Don't think it's a one size fits all, a solution approach that Longmont public safety provides. In other words, you know, the leading for our, our, our grant funded and they do provide a different level of service and necessarily straight out Police Service, it would come to a call you know, they do bring them in so I'm gonna be careful about that. I mean, I understand what you're saying, Melanie, did, you get the police but in long my you get the police act. Right, you get a mental health provider along with them. I just want to make sure that we were careful about about that. And again, I'm gonna I'm gonna go back to your point. Graham, so if if Can you can you speak a little more about that value proposition piece. I understand the increase housing, Human Services and funding. But I'd like to learn a little more about What the increased value or the value proposition conversation is,
right? So what you can tell what people care about based on what they spend money on, you know, you want to know where somebody is value, it's our look at their checkbook or look at their bank statements, you know, and I think it's all the more true with a society or the city of Longmont, where do we put our money? And so I think I vaguely remember somebody reading in the meeting that there's like $25 million allocated to the police department and that when there are budget cuts, that department doesn't get cut, and the community service and safety funder whatever, I'm probably miss naming it only got, you know, like three or 400,000. And so, to me, that signals a value proposition or, or tells me where this community you know, once its energy, its money. It's the tension. And so I think this ask is not just about dollars, this hour. Ask is about saying this community values, meeting the basic human needs of its people, first and foremost, and that is inevitably going to reduce crime and increase safety and be a more genuine expression of, you know, what we value, you know, and that is taking care of each other. So
well, so let me let me let me just say a couple of things. One is, and I don't know what I will need to go back and look at the public safety because that $21 million may also include EMT, and fire cars in Longmont. Those are police, fire and EMT are all combined. So
I had some notes from the meeting. I mean, I don't know if these figures are correct, but I had written down that 2521 point 5 million per year, but that including public safety, it was 53 million a year.
Right. So I don't know Yeah, so I don't know that I would obviously. And then as far as our human service funding we get, we got 2.37. And we're looking at 2.7% of general fund. This year, it was around one point. And I'm, I'm thinking if I had to go back and look, I think it's a one point something million. And of course, half of that has gone to homeless services. And then the other half went to the Human Services funding that we have. Right. So just want to make sure that we, you know, it's much more than three or 400,000. That being said, I, I think it's important that that we share that that the board is very much committed to increasing human service funding as well to make sure that we we know what we're, we got our facts straight, you know, as far as what our funding is.
Yeah, and I, you know, I understand the drive and the burden to get, you know, have informative detailed information here. But I also feel like on some level, that's City Council's job to work that out. And this is just, you know, like Madeline said, a springboard to start the conversation. So maybe maybe we lead the lead the letter in with just saying, hey, Human Services needs more funding, and before that, but now it's all the more true. And we know this because we're having a needs assessment done. And preliminary top line reports show that we're headed into a crisis and so it's time for, you know, city council to to send money to human services, and we think that it should come from the police department. And right okay.
So as we
perhaps focus on paragraph
1234, paragraph five.
You scroll down for us, Alberto. Thank you.
Did you guys do I send you guys a letter?
No. Do you suggest to me?
Oh, okay. Okay. Oh, yeah, I was like, Yeah, I didn't want to. I want to
decide how you want to distribute it. But I do have a problem if you want to share it.
Well, I think part of the part of the issue is is is and I don't understand the whole Colorado sunshine laws. But I think part of the issue is we want to make sure that you know, this is being done in like this unnoticed meeting. You can have individual things, but if we're going to discuss something that's going to be I think we discuss it as a group that, you know, in a recorded meeting. So I think it's just trying to make sure that we that we stay in those boundaries. That's why I didn't send that I asked him to send it back. I could show it. Mm hmm.
So, which is is that?
So I was thinking that you what you were talking about is it would be more probably, probably let me read about that more in paragraph 52345.
Talking about them to serve members of community.
I mean, that says that I think we need shorter, shorter is better.
So I think the other question that I would have for this group is And maybe it is Council's job for me this group's job after this, but, you know,
I have a
I have a concern about, you know, the work that police is doing, and particularly with corn lead, I believe, is what is mentioned in that first sentence, you know, trauma informed de escalation or reduction. And then the question is, if not them, then who in my mind.
So can we add a sentence there that says you recognize and encourage the police's work along the lines of lead cordon Angel initiative, and we do not want to see funding pulled from those programs.
So if I can speak to that, that was actually in my letter. That's one of the things I added. So what I added in my letter was that we recognize that certain programs such as corny and the angel initiative are excellent programs which should not be terminated. And then I added in however councils should explore whether these programs will be better operated by another department or by an outside nonprofit, something like that, I think might work.
But Graham, did you say that the funds that support those programs are not associated with what we're asking for anyway? Right.
Well, it is grant funding, but then liberto just said that it's police and the show, which leads me to believe that maybe they're you know, somebody who's on payroll for the police department spends 20 hours on a grant funded initiative that justifies their full time employment, I guess, I just don't know about the details there. But yes, yeah, in general. Yeah. They're they're funded by grants. Yeah. Am I wrong
about that? Le Berto No, I think I think they are funded. And I don't mean this is part of the challenge, right? I don't know details of how much of that Funding for core lead is is an angel initiative. How much of that is general funders safety fund public safety fund? And how much of it is grants? And so I think that's, that's, you know, that's where that's where it starts getting a little complicated to just do a blanket statement of 10%.
but I also think we're not really, like, that's Council's job to sort of sort this out and figure out which ones may come from our purview to be able to figure that out in a letter this, you know, that's not that's a huge project, right. Our job is just to make them have this conversation and get the ball rolling.
Right. Right. Right.
I think that the, the email that was forwarded from Councilmember Christiansen, I think, said that I thought it said 874 4000 for those programs came from city funding and the rest of the two point something million was through grants. But I don't know the source of that funding. But regardless, I mean, obviously, we don't want those programs to be terminated. Maybe we don't have to even reference those programs. I don't know.
I liked the sentence you you mentioned. Yeah, that was in your letter, I think we can cut and paste that right in there and just say, hey, these are the kind of programs that we want to encourage, you know, that's, I think your sentence was was right on. And that's the kind of policing and community service that we're looking for. Not the the violent, aggressive approach that we're trying to get away from so.
I think so. I think that's that's a good point. Um, I think the other thing I would say is about long month PD and and you know, and I think so, recently, Madeline, your sister and I, and I haven't listened to all of it. I used to listen and Mike Butler had a really good conversation and so I just want want to be careful that we Why yes, no police force is immune from these issues, you know, long one has been a longtime leader in in really collaborative community policing.
They've been recognized
for many years and a lot has to do with Mike and so we want to make sure that, that that work continues. So we got to think about what our role as a board is in the crafting the attributes for the next public safety safe piece. I just want to make sure that that that's not again, I agree that no police force is immune from what we were talking about and Longmont has years of working toward improving their community policing in collaboration with the community.
So I want to be careful with that.
Do you think this, I don't interpret this letter to condemn this police department, I interpret this letter to say, there are just things that police are not necessarily best trained to accomplish. And if we transfer funding to people who are better trained to do those things, everybody will be better off including the police. But I don't know maybe that's just because that's my own bias in reading this letter. I mean, I will also throw into that, you know, one of the things I had suggested at the meeting and that I had added into my letter, and maybe this was just me if it was I'm not gonna belabor this, but I had suggested that we consider asking the council to request feedback from groups
to see what their experiences are with the police.
And I my goal on that was twofold, right like I already believe that These things are happening and to a lesser extent in Longmont, because I think Walmart has a better police force than some places like say Aurora, right. But I think that other people need to be convinced of these problems. And one of the ways you convince people is to show them how other people that don't mirror them are experiencing things. So I thought that was one way that counsel could perhaps have their eyes open or open members of the public's mind to some of the issues that are problematic with policing. But I'm not stuck on that idea of them doing that. And as I said at the meeting, I do think I, you know, as a white person have a tendency probably to overly study things instead of just getting it done and pushing the envelope so maybe throwing in a request to do some community information gathering is a bad idea because it might sort of slow things down. I don't know.
You know, I think maybe we have a call to action section at the end of the letter that says, you know, here the here the call to action points. Maybe one of those is, you know, solicit feedback from the company about their interaction with the police department. And another one is, you know, analyze the budget of the police department. And, you know, there's a couple other ways. I mean, maybe just to couch all these things we feel like should be added to the ladder without feeling tied to just stuff it into the pros and still make it flow, right. Because when you just, the more you edit some of these things, the crazier they get, so maybe if we just have a call to action section, where, you know, you need just a bullet point, here's what we're asking the council to do, you know, pull money from police, and so evaluate the situation or
Well, I wonder if so, I guess my question is, again, I i i've been pretty straightforward. I'm concerned about, you know, that first, that second paragraph is how far will they read beyond that? Before dismissing it so Maybe if we say something like that call to action, what you just said, Graham analyze the budget and see where, if that's possible, or where would it be possible? You know, and with that,
give it more of an opportunity to be
a conversation starter.
I think there's a high value and ensuring this letter has makes people uncomfortable, that it is intentionally unpalatable. And
I don't know what do you think Madeline?
Yes, exactly. Absolutely. Absolutely. That I mean, heightened or too high, too much. Oh. They need to be uncomfortable. They really do that. I think that's what they meant when they said we needed to put more teeth in And I think that's what Karen was alluding to.
And I just know that based on
my, my experience, and many of these kinds of things says that you get one shot. So if we really we got to go in and do a bang, you know, from Jump Street, and then otherwise it will get pushed off and we you know, and then supposed to bring it up later is not going to have the same value. So, yeah, we Yeah, yeah. Graham to answer your question. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
So I don't know.
There may be may be based on how I structured it.
Perhaps you will want to reverse
The first in a second
in the bottom Go to the bottom. I can get my Okay, here we go. Let me pull up my copy here. We strongly believe that the purpose of bonds would be a major opportunity for reparation and I believe between these and the community, somehow. That's more of a summation. And, yeah, to keep in line with what you were saying, maybe some of the stronger points were made at the end rather than the beginning.
I don't know what do you think?
I mean, it's the letters only. It's only one page, right? Like, is council really gonna read the first paragraph and just toss the whole thing? like,
Well, I I wouldn't say that. I'm talking more about it. If definitely the 10% is a is a glaring aspect of the letter, like you said, like Graham said it will make them uncomfortable and I think the the talkative, right, it is provocative and you know, and the truth is I don't know what, you know, counsel will completely respond to this. I'm just my goal and I think Karen's goal is well is we strongly want to port the board review at the board that that the underlying goals of the letter are important. I also want to make sure that we address what like I said earlier, what is our role? Right So at this point, it's this is very much focused on on long month, police department, this letter is And what role do we have in this effort? You know, I was telling Karen, I mean, I like to see the board take a deeper look at what, you know, equity inclusion, diversity is beyond just, you know, we have we have a table and people say I have a person of color on the board, which I think is important, but I think it needs to go deeper than that. For example, in my mind, we could add a question in the application around so what does equity look like in your programs or what I was their equity and your outcomes type of question, to have our nonprofit partners Think about it.
I guess that's that's what we're thinking about. We want this to be a successful effort. And, and and maybe success is not defined. Maybe success is the uncomfort. I don't know. But I'm just saying I'm born. That's my perspective.
I don't know, I think there's a lot of value to
pushing it and making it uncomfortable and having it be provocative, because otherwise, it's just one of those like, yeah, yeah, we need to not be racist kind of letters, right. Do I really think that Council is gonna take 10% out of the police budget and give it to housing and human services? No, but I think it's hugely important conversation to have. And hopefully this is incendiary enough that they will have that conversation.
And if they say no, they're gonna have to tell us why. So,
yeah, other alternatives. If they say no,
you know, which is why I think like a call to action section might be helpful too, because then like, we can try and accomplish some things, although it might water it down. So I kind of went back into
So think liberto this, this group is saying we want to kick the door in. Yeah.
No. And that's and that's why I think it's important to remove unanimous because it won't be. And that's okay. Yeah. And we'll have to see what the outcomes of that are.
Can we make sure and get all the key edits that were from your letter? Yeah,
yeah. So let me let me anything else on Madeline's and then I can switch over to DNS. I mean, I've wrote stuff down that I will try and I mean, I may not be able to wordsmith it, but I will at least put comments on it around, you know, call to action around we potentially what I wrote down is do we Madeline's point, do we re restructure the letter or you know, move paragraphs around and things like that.
That's what my notes are saying right now.
And then maybe we have a final conversation at the next board meeting next week that we have to still set up.
So is there anything else about this?
This letter before I show you
so before we move on, I guess, can we just step back to this restructuring of the letter a little bit like, okay, and sort out to Madeline's point, whether it makes sense to move the Okay, so if we have the 10% I'm not speaking in complete sentences, but let me give it a shot. So if we move the 10% request to the end of the letter, is it more likely that people are going to read through it and have an open mind or do we want to start it off with like a POW 10% and here's why. I don't know.
Have you got to start with with a bow? I mean, and you know, that's why I put it in the first paragraph was that, you know, you lead in with what what are you asking? You know, if in the first five to seven sentences you can't communicate the core of your issue then you lose my attention, you know? Yeah,
yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I agree
with that long so to that end in terms of restructuring it I think, I agree like I I want it to be confrontational and, as I said, incendiary to a certain extent. So I don't know that we need to restructure it to move paragraphs around too much. Okay. My opinion.
No, I wrote it that way. On purpose, but, but no, I was just saying If you don't have any bested interest, if we need if it can be more effective to move a sentence or a paragraph, then it's going to work. And I'm not. I don't have anything
really well the way it is Madeline.
Well, thank you.
I'd like to say I'd like to see yours. I mean,
I just worked off of grants and added a couple of sentences. And I added a paragraph about, you know, under some feedback from groups who have experiences with the police department, and I had added in that those couple sentences about maintaining programs such as lead corn Angel initiative, but that's really the only difference from Graham's letter.
Yes, that's probably going to be a concern. So if we could Find the place to add it. Because I did every Yeah, I use grants, basically as the basis for it. You know, everything I wrote. So yeah, but I think to add, because that's gonna be that was a concern that was expressed in during the meeting. But I don't think people knew that the funding, you know, was aside from what we were asking. Did you think that they that they, they were able to separate those, or did they know that or what?
I don't think the group knew that and I think that's why Councilwoman Polly had us read that.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So to add that,
someway, here's the piece
I like I like both of those. I like them. Yeah, I say we just add those.
I realized I said people experiencing homelessness and I know that that may not be the correct term that maybe we should be using unhoused
I just copied this from the minutes.
Yeah, that's the that's the general term right now is not the previous term was homeless people. And then it's now people experiencing homeless homelessness.
I put them both in do a slash on house. Because I think it the
on how to politically correct.
Mm hmm. To me.
Yeah, it's not a politically correct condition. Word.
Yeah. unhoused sounds softer and homelessness is,
It's just like this letter. This letter. We can't can't dress this thing up.
No, we can't wait. Yeah. And that's what's gonna go Unfortunately, that's what it's gonna take to get their attention. You know, that's just the way it is.
The truth of the matter
and that we we want to get their attention we don't want you know, we don't want it like we said initially, we This needs to be uncomfortable.