AS220 ENDORSES COMMUNITY SAFETY ACT
We here at AS220 (“we” being staff, board members, residents, AS220 Industries members, and AS220 Youth members) are proud to announce that we are offering our endorsement of the passage of the Community Safety Act in Providence. We feel that the goals and purpose of the CSA are aligned with our organization’s mission and vision, and when the question of whether or not to endorse was put to a simple majority “yes” or “no” vote by our aforementioned community, it was approved by an overwhelming majority – 98.1%!
A little context: The Providence Community Safety Act is a comprehensive city ordinance to ban racial profiling and to change the way that police interact with members of our community, especially young people, immigrants, and people of color. It has been worked on and promoted since June of 2014 by the STEP UP Coalition (Providence Youth Student Movement, Direct Action for Rights and Equality, American Friends Service Committee, and Olneyville Neighborhood Association).
More on AS220 and politics: AS220, as an organization, has historically been a non-political, non-partisan entity and has not taken public stances on political issues (with the exception of some issues that have directly affected artists and / or arts organizations).
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, AS220 is prohibited by the IRS from advocating for or against any political party, candidate running for public office, or elected official. Furthermore, as AS220 operates by an unjuried and uncensored mission calling for us to be accessible to “all artists”, we should be careful when considering taking what could be a divisive stance on an issue, even if it is technically legally permissible.
Since the 2016 election, we as an organization are further realizing the importance of staying informed and involved in government at all levels. Our approach to political involvement is to listen to ideas brought to us, and to share the issue internally, assessing the issue in relation to our mission and vision. Our Co-Directors, Shey Rivera and Shauna Duffy, make the final decision on any action to be taken. The majority of time and work that employees dedicate to this is unpaid and completely voluntary. Our priority as an organization will always be serving our users directly.