This is a petition by the Coalition for a Greenfield People’s Budget. We are not affiliated with the government of the City of Greenfield. We are campaigning for a participatory budgeting process to shape new public safety programs in our city.
We envision a future in Greenfield where everyone has their basic needs met: good food to eat, quality health care, housing that’s healthy, accessible and affordable, fairly compensated and meaningful work, and community support during crisis. To move toward that vision, we have to change how we think about policing and public safety. Greenfield must join the growing trend of cities building community-based solutions that help make everyone safe and healthy.
Greenfield’s current city budget relies too much on policing to deal with the fallout from poverty, homelessness, addiction, and mental health crises. Almost all of the Greenfield Police Department’s caseload are civil issues and social work (see our campaign for details). Relying on police to handle social problems is ineffective, expensive, and dangerous. Policing causes extensive collateral damage in people’s lives and uses up limited resources that could be used for community care.
We call on the City of Greenfield to establish holistic public safety solutions that are life-affirming. Instead of policing, we need affordable housing, compassionate mental health support, harm reduction, and violence prevention.
Cities across the United States have shown that community-based social programs reduce violence and harm, increase community well-being, and even reduce city expenses. Examples include:
- “Housing-First” programs that provide accessible, permanent housing for homeless people (e.g., Columbus, OH; Quincy, MA; Plattsburgh, NY; Portland, ME; Salt Lake City, UT; Austin, TX)
- Civilian crisis response teams to help people in distress, answering mental health emergencies with health workers and trained peer responders (e.g., Eugene, OR; Denver, CO; Sacramento, CA; Albuquerque, NM)
- Restorative and transformative justice programs that reduce harm, support victims, and provide accountability while keeping people out of jail (e.g., San Diego, CA; Colorado; Vermont)
- Violence prevention through peer-led mentorship and conflict resolution (e.g., Richmond, Stockton, and Oakland, CA; Chicago, IL; Baltimore, MD)
Programs like these must be implemented in Greenfield. Where similar programs already exist here, they must be expanded. City officials must devote significant resources to these community-based interventions and ensure they receive sustained support.
These human-centered programs must be shaped democratically by the residents of the town and especially by those of us who are most affected by existing punitive, coercive programs and who suffer the most from inadequate community resources.
Public safety programs like these are the basis for a thriving community of neighbors, families, and friends. Together we can make Greenfield a place where we can all live, grow, and build safe, meaningful lives.
Sign the petition
By signing, I endorse the demands above and affirm that:
- Instead of more policing, we need human-centered solutions that address the root problems of homelessness, addiction, poverty, systemic racism, and mental health crises.
- We need an open, democratic process for shaping new community safety programs, and the process must prioritize those who are most harmed by existing programs.
Contact information will be kept confidential. We will publish your name on the petition only if you give us permission. Not ready to sign now? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.