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).

Here are the key points of the CSA in English and in SpanishHere is the full text of the CSA.

City Council members who are in support of the CSA have stated that more Providence-based organizations and businesses need to get in touch with the Council showing their support. The most effective way to do this is to write a letter of support on your official letter head. AS220 will be doing this. If you are interested in taking action, there are more details and sample letter here. You can find out who your council person is here, email addresses can be found here, and the phone number for the city council is 401-521-7477.
There will be a public hearing for the CSA at Providence City Hall on Monday, April 10th at 5:30 PM. Enter on the Washington Street side. Facebook event page.

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.