(Jump down to read the Ordinance itself.)
Why you should vote YES on Question 2 – Greenfield’s Safe City ballot question:
- When undocumented residents feel safe interacting with police and local officials to report crimes and collaborate in investigations, crime rates drop and public safety increases.
- When local police no longer face the burden of enforcing federal immigration law, they are better able to focus on local, community-oriented policing.
- Now more than ever, we must stand up for the safety and dignity of immigrant communities and push back against reactionary hate and fear in Greenfield and beyond.
Why a YES vote on Question 2 is necessary to keep Greenfield a Safe City:
The city council passed the ordinance, but Mayor William Martin then vetoed it. The city council then voted successfully to override the veto. In the meantime, a small group of people collected enough signatures to put the ordinance on the ballot.
The Safe City ordinance codifies in law Greenfield’s commitment to equality and civil rights for all. The mayor claims that Greenfield has been a safe city ever since he issued Executive Order #2017-3. He is wrong. The ordinance is far more comprehensive and permanent than the executive order. The mayor’s order gives him and future mayors arbitrary power to enforce the policy at will, allowing them to rescind the order whenever they please. Also, while the executive order is limited to the Police Department, the Safe City Ordinance covers all Greenfield city officials. Now more than ever, it is vital that communities go the extra mile to defend and protect the safety and dignity of immigrants.
The Safe City ordinance makes clear that no city departments should be asking for anyone’s immigration status. There are good reasons to extend this policy beyond the Police Department. Because the Safe City Ordinance covers all city departments, immigrants in Greenfield will be able to attend and take their children to school and seek public services without fear of being targeted. Asking about citizenship is not the same as asking for an individual’s immigration status. While it is standard for some city departments to ask a “yes or no” question about citizenship–and they may continue to do so under the Safe City ordinance–no departments should be asking for anyone’s immigration status.
If, as the Mayor himself has stated, the City of Greenfield welcomes immigrants and depends on “the new energy and love of community brought to this country,” it is vital that Greenfield stand up to protect the safety and affirm the humanity of all its residents––documented or undocumented. We can and must resist the divisive rhetoric of the current administration on a local level by taking concrete steps to defend safety and civil rights for all.
Read the Safe City Ordinance
To see the ordinance itself, click here and read the section “Order no. FY 20-016.”