From an email:
“Deadline for letters to be signed and returned is Tuesday, April 11 evening (i.e. tomorrow). This is not just for Tricia, whom we lost tragically and brutally, but also for the Public Safety of the DC community, so that such a thing never happens again.
Just a reminder (if you have not already) to send your letter in memory of the tragic loss of our beloved friend and Bloomingdale resident
(and please pass this email along to friends and other DC residents, and/or share on Social Media)
TAKE ACTION (OPTION 1):
If you are unable to attend the hearings (see ACTION OPTION 2 below), please consider writing a letter telling the DC Council to support funding to agencies that deliver victim’s services and mental health services that we can deliver in person at the hearings. The more letters we bring from community members, the stronger our collective message will be to the Committee!
(we have created a form letter here that you can download, and sign to save time–if you would like to personalize the letter, please do). Note that the form letter does not seem to work on your phone, so if you will need to download it on your computer.
Please email your letters directly to me at [email protected]. I will print all of the letters that I receive up to April 11 to take with me to the OVSJG hearing on Wednesday April 12.
TAKE ACTION (OPTION 2):
Attend one or both budget hearings in person and make your concerns known to the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. We should ask about their funding priorities and express our strong conviction that more mental health services for people accused of crimes is critical to public safety in this community. We hope that as many of us as possible will be able to show up at these hearings to testify and/or bring letters of support from other members of our community.
- The hearing for OVSJG will take place on April 12th at 9:30 a.m. at 1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW in Room 500.
- The DBH hearing is on May 12th at 11:00 a.m. at 1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW in Room 412.
Background Information on these calls to action:
On Thursday March 9, we had a very informative meeting with DC Council Member Charles Allen, who chairs the Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. Council Member Allen is well aware of procedural changes that need be made to close the gaps that allowed a dangerous person to avoid being held custody. If any related legislation were to be introduced, it would happen later in the year. The immediate issue are the budget hearings coming up in April & May for two critical agencies:
1. The Department of Behavioral Health (DBH)
2. Office of Victims Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG)
Both of these agencies could be facing budget cuts. Mr. Allen urged us to be vocal about our story — the loss of our friend and/or community member — and the need to provide services that could prevent a similar tragedy. We see a strong need for funding for programs to address mental illness among the homeless and to provide treatment for people accused of or convicted of crimes.
nowhere to go, no place to be, except right here, PERFECT, exactly as you are.
–Tricia Lynn McCauley