Posted on July 19, 2010 by Aron Goldman
Last week, James, Marcos, and I did a test ride (route map below) for a new movement: WEDNESDAY RIDES. What’s the point?:
- Get in shape
- Create safe spaces
- Promote alternative transportation
- Get to know different neighborhoods
- Raise eyebrows
- Have fun!
Every Wednesday at noon (at least through August) we’ll gather at the Springfield YMCA on Chestnut Street and have a casual group ride through a different neighborhood each week. All are welcome. You will have aceess to the Y’s locker room. Bring a helmet.
Many people have said, “Sounds awesome, now I need to get a bike!” Let me know if you’re in that boat. The Y will negotiate discounts with a local bike shop if we have enough people. You can also check Craig’s List or the only bike shop with a Springfield address.
Coincidentally, the Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council just started weekly rides, too. Check out Ciclovía, Thursdays at 4:30PM.
Update: According to The Intruder, guided walks along the river began on June 30th. These walks also take place on Wednesdays, at 12:15. (Thanks, Sheila!)
Update 2: Here are some bilingual materials about the Holyoke bike movement from tonight’s Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council meeting (below, click to enlarge). For more info: Liz Budd, email@example.com, 413-437-0864.
Filed under: Health disparities, Public safety & criminal justice, Transportation & infrastructure, Wednesday Rides | Tagged: James Morton, Marcos Marrero | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 25, 2010 by Monique Thomas
Among urban cities where crime is a constant threat to the community’s prosperity, an increasingly important aspect of crime prevention is the connection and cooperation of residents with enforcement authorities. Government officials need community involvement to make the most of their efforts to fight crime and community members need to feel confident that their police force and government officials are looking out for their well-being in order to cooperate with them.
To that end, the City of Springfield launched two crime-prevention measures earlier this month. The first, Operation Blue Knight, launches police into high-crime neighborhoods to patrol and engage with residents to create healthy relationships and foster communication between the two. In a press conference on June 3rd, Police Commissioner Fitchet said the patrols are models for future “Blue Knight deployments,” where one neighborhood at a time is saturated with police force, rather than the entire city.
Filed under: Public safety & criminal justice | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 14, 2010 by Aron Goldman
One out of every twenty-one MA residents are under correctional control (Source: Pew Report). Only four other states arrest more of its citizens than we do. Nationally, one in eighteen men, and one in eleven black men and women, are in the system. Even after your sentence is complete, your criminal record (CORI) can follow you for life.
To help prevent misdemeanors from becoming life sentences, activists (Neighbor to Neighbor, Jobs with Justice) have been pushing for CORI reform for years. The work is starting to pay off. Reform legislation recently passed the MA House and Senate (with support from community activists and the criminal justice officials alike), and it is in conference now. Governor Patrick is ready to sign it.
Springfield resident, Orlando Ramos, came to our offices this morning to explain how the legislation works, and the implications for residents (video below). And on June 30th, the Springfield Health Disparities Project has organized a “CORI Independence Day” event to help residents understand their rights, seal their records, and move on (flyer here, PDF).
Filed under: Civil/human rights, Economic & workforce development, Health disparities, Local democracy & civic engagement, Public safety & criminal justice | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 13, 2010 by Aron Goldman
It’s taken me a few days to write this one, because it’s just hard to know where to begin. Remember the legend of the welfare queen (living it up on the taxpayer’s dime) constructed by the Reagan administration, and revived to help pass the Clinton Administration’s 1996 Welfare Reform Act? Well she’s back, and with her comes all the moralism, anger, and fear associated with those periods. When I saw the phrase “lifestyle audits,” I just assumed we were talking about Wall Street and banking executives. Is that conversation over already? Wouldn’t that be a more lucrative line of inquiry?
Welfare rolls are down 50-70% as a result of the welfare reform act. Where have all those people gone? The most popular theories are: prison, the military, and a vast and expanding low wage underclass. Looking for alternatives? Here are three new case studies of projects for mothers on welfare (Lumina Foundation, 32-page PDF).
Disclaimer: We do not take positions on candidates. We do however track emerging policy and research that relates to poverty, inequality, and the region (see list at right).
Filed under: Civil/human rights, Economic & workforce development, Public safety & criminal justice | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 20, 2010 by Aron Goldman
On Sunday, members of the the Teatro V!da Youth Ensemble asked Governor Patrick:
“How can we as young people be assured that our voices will be included in ongoing public dialogue regarding daily struggles we face with bullying at schools amd the lack of teacher support in relation to bullying?”
Governor Patrick made three points in response:
- He is eager to sign the anti-bullying bill as soon as it reaches his desk.
- “It’s time for adults to start acting like adults.” (i.e., take responsibility for all children)
- There is a Youth Council (consisting of youth) that reports directly to him about their priorities, and he’d like this group to be a part of that.
Filed under: Arts & culture, Local democracy & civic engagement, Public education, charter schools, Public safety & criminal justice, Youth leadership development | Leave a comment »