About Us

ActNow JH is a grassroots movement founded in Teton County, which is home to the highest wealth inequality in the US. We are unpaid, yet invested citizens, that believe in supporting the entire community. Our mission is to demand systems of care that support all community members living freely from racial, social and criminal injustice. To do this we believe in collectively investing in supportive services and divesting from punitive institutions.

Money spent on living wages, access to health services and treatment, education, and stable housing have proved time and time again to reduce crime far more significantly than money spent on policing (Popular Democracy, 2017). County-funded social welfare organizations, public transportation, affordable housing, and public health are currently underrepresented in the budget. We are calling on local leaders to invest in these organizations listed above.

What We Believe In

  1. Teton County is not a refuge for racism

    • Our community was established through state violence implementing “hunting” laws through a white supremacist lens, violently forcing out the Shoshone-Bannock and Cheyenne people. The colonizers who “settled” this land used the pretext of conservation to justify their injustice, not unlike how conservation today is used to generate wealth for the elite. 

  2. It is not a coincidence we are so white

    • Okay, so it’s true we used to be mean to people that didn’t look like us, but why are you still talking about the settlers? Economic forces rooted in Wyoming’s anti-federalist, cowboy streak have been co-opted to create a tax haven for the elite to park their capital, play in nature, and not think about the way their wealth generates wealth inequality. 

  3. Proximity to whiteness / wealth should not determine who gets to stay

    • The past decade has seen a 10% decrease in county residents making less than $50,000, and 5% increase in those making more than $200,000. A just and equitable Teton County will not let witness & wealth be the social determinant of living here. 

  4. Violence travels in many ways

    • “We don’t have “those” issues here.” People often think of Teton County as a quaint, utopian mountain town removed from buzzkill issues such as racism, sexism, and poverty. The reality is we are a microcosm, with violence that travels through worker exploitation, lack of affordable housing, hunger, and intimate sexual partner violence. Our economy is propped up by a Latinx population that is often barred from the decision table through structural economic barriers, meanwhile living in less than adequate spaces and 60% being uninsured. 

  5. Overinvestment in policing and underinvestment in social services is an attack on the poor

    • We are consistently told that we live in a world of scarcity, that we are living beyond our means as a society, and we need to toughen up as individuals. Law enforcement continues to grow in size while increasing its responsibility for societal ills they are not equipped to handle, meanwhile social programs such as affordable housing, health care, and education face consistent cuts. Law enforcement is good at protecting property, but not caring for a community. 

  6. Home of the free: World’s #1 Incarcerator 

    • Starting in the 1970’s, there was a bipartisan, racist shift in national politics in response to uprisings over racism at home and unjust wars abroad. The Nixon and Reagan administrations began the War on the Drugs, which they knew was a War on Black people. Followed by bipartisan efforts including the 1994 Crime Bill and War on Terror, this has led to what is today known as the Prison Industrial Complex. The “home of the free” is home to the 22% of the world’s prisoners, but only 4% of the world’s total population. Our public institutions have a choice to confront this system and say we will not contribute to these historical injustices. 

  7. We are not interested in conversations around “good” or “bad” individuals

    • Whether it’s a “good cop” or a “bad criminal”, we are wholly uninterested in conversations that do not address the structural forces. We know some of our law enforcement officers are good people. No amount of nice cops will materially address overinvestment in the institution of policing that is overtasked and undertrained. 

  8. The marginalized do not need experts in a room deciding how to “help” them

    • When given the access, opportunity, and power to create the world they want, ordinary people are the foremost experts in their own lives. This requires breaking down class, gender, and racial barriers. Those are how most affected by the inequalities of our world are the best equipped to address them. 

  9. Wealth accumulation does not correlate to success

    • Contrary to popular narratives of meritocracy, there is no correlation between hard work and wealth accumulation. The greatest determinants of financial success, and conversely poverty, are the social and environmental situations we are all born into through the lottery of life. Thus, poverty is not something to be addressed as an individual moral failing, but a societal ill that must be confronted with collective action. Poverty here is interchangeable with mental and physical safety. 

  10. We don’t adhere to arbitrary social constructs

    • Whether race, gender, class, or any other forms of hierarchy, we are uninterested in pursuing these in this new world that we fight for. We are a movement full of leaders, despite lacking a leadership structure. To lend words from our friends at the Sunrise Movement, we ask for advice, not permission.

Our Mission

To collectively invest in supportive services and divest from punitive institutions.

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Our Vision

A community that spends more time and money "fighting crime" at its roots; by providing living wages, better education, affordable housing, access to health care, and public transportation; than it spends punishing it's most vulnerable citizens.

 

ActNow JH

We are ordinary people seeking criminal, racial, and social justice in Teton County. In the USA’s most economically unequal county, we challenge overinvestment in law enforcement and fight for restorative community services in the pursuit of collective liberation. 

IG: @actnowjh

Email: actnowJH@riseup.net

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