Who is Invest in Pittsfield, and what do we want?
As residents and stakeholders in the City of Pittsfield, we want the funding and tools to invest in a just, healthy, and safe future for Pittsfield.
We need to justly, ethically and responsibly invest our city budget in programs that promote health, encourage prosperity, and prevent violence.
Too many tasks and services are assigned to law enforcement--things like mental health first response, substance use support, youth mentorship and opportunity, violence prevention, and response to homelessness. These are essential services that law enforcement was never meant to provide, and the money flowing to the police department to manage the negative consequences of these challenges starves our city of programs and resources that our communities need to survive and thrive.
We also know that communities of color, especially Black communities, and marginalized communities are policed more often and more aggressively. The result is that some communities endure the disproportionate impacts of policing and involvement in the criminal legal system while still having to collaborate with police and courts to access essential services and resources.
This will require multi-year, collaborative work, but we can start in June, 2020 by making important initial investments of our city's budget outside of the police department.