Act Now JH is a grassroots movement invested in upholding Teton County’s status as a role model community: one in which we collectively invest in supportive services and divest from punitive institutions. This will challenge the very roots of mass criminalization and inequity and bolster the support available to all those who live here. The choice to invest in punitive systems instead of in stabilizing and alimentary systems DOES NOT make communities safer.
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 organizations like One22, WIC, the Children’s Learning Center, Hole Food Rescue, Vertical Harvest, the Community Safety Network, as well as services like transportation (the START Bus), affordable housing, and public health are currently underrepresented in the budget. We are calling on the County Commissioners to divest funds from the Sheriff’s Department, and to invest these funds into organizations like the ones listed above.
To accomplish this, we mobilized at the county level before the budget ratification meeting and pushed for 3 things. An in-depth audit of town and county law enforcement, (2), and (3). The county commissioners passed the first demand, an in-depth analysis of law enforcement spending, actions, and the overall need for that spending. We are in the initial stages of creating the law enforcement committee.
Why now? A spotlight has been shone on several instances of police brutality that have brought into question the value system and value of policing. Teton County is in a unique position to enact real and meaningful reform in our police department. We have a high number of local non-profit and county-funded organizations that are creating positive change for community members every day on extremely limited budgets. We can defund the police and redirect these funds to the non-profits that already exist, and that can improve the lives of our at-risk and disenfranchised community members. The world is watching- let’s show them what we can do.
To collectively invest in supportive services and divest from punitive institutions.
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.