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WOODSTOCK NY POLICE REFORM AND REINVENTION COMMITTEE MEETING INFO:

Below Are the videos of past meetings and supporting info/documents for keeping up with  the Town of Woodstock Police Reform and REINVENTION Committee Zoom Meetings:
I ask woodstockers—current residents, displaced residents, weekend residents, particularly of color, to join the call and bear witness until your voices are called in. The meetings are public.

Please refer to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order first, and CONSIDER ANSWERING WITH HIS CALL IN MIND (The Executive Order is HERE

The very supportive and valuable Guidelines are Here:
https://townwoodstock.digitaltowpath.org:10111/content/Boards/View/21:field=documents;/content/Documents/File/1587.pdf )

The Survey is at the Woodstock Town Website: 

http://woodstockny.org

(You can also watch the past meetings and find Committee members’ email addresses to stay in touch)

https://townwoodstock.digitaltowpath.org:10111/content/Boards/View/21

You can watch the last meeting here

Contacts:
Police Reform and Reinvention Committee
Town of Woodstock
Email: policereform@woodstockny.org

(start the one below about 15 minutes in when the meeting begins) 

And I ask you sincerely, as the member on the committee who wants to know:

“With all that is going on across the “US” should Woodstock be excused from naming and addressing systemic racism and power dynamics in our own police force/community?”

Please answer that question here as you won’t see a spot for addressing racism, othering or equity shifts in the survey itself. And feel free to address the Governor’s call in the available spaces for paragraphs.
Please note the section on “LOOKING AHEAD” and remember the incredible opportunity presented by the Governor for REINVENTION

Feel free to email me regarding Police Reform at: rmarcohavens@woodstockny.org


As many of you know (see above) I have been participant in the police reform work in NY. Emotionally overwhelming and tedious, I wasn’t sure I’d make it to April.
fortunately, earlier this winter, I was blessed with the support of young and badass humans (some of my Wake Up What’s next Posse) who joined me in a breakout subcommittee. Tasked with much of the work of including the pith of the systemic issues, it was a lot. On Thursday March 4th, we presented our recommendations to the rest of the Eo 203 committee. We await the opportunity to come back together as a full committee to pull all of the subcommitteed recommendations to share with the community.
See our recommendations below:

EO 203 Committee Town of Woodstock 47 Comeau Drive Woodstock, NY 12498
March 3, 2021
Dear Members of the Committee,
The cultural shift/youth subcommittee requested that I assist them with the task of putting together recommendations for you. At first, I hesitated because my plate is quite full- I have been a practicing attorney in New York State for almost twenty years and the fact that I have won my share of David versus Goliath battles has gained me a good deal of attention. However, I gained a temendous amount of respect for the individuals involved in this work and came to realize something I didn’t at first- the Town of Woodstock has enough cache to warrant a good effort. Utilizing that cache, Woodstock can be positioned as a symbol for social consciousness!
That is why your efforts on this front are so important. EO 203 provides an avenue for you to reimagine how your community could look if some attention was paid to it as what it can be- a vibrant community where people of diverse backgrounds come together. EO 203 at its heart causes us to confront how our communities are as a unit and this is a shift in thought as most of us are trained to think only about how we fit in as individuals. Communities across the State are reckoning with the fact that structural changes are needed. And the subcommittee I have worked with is dedicated to assisting you with actually creating a new dynamic for yourTown.
I appreciate the work your Committee has done and am available to work with you to
incorporate the ideas presented herein by the cultural shift/youth subcommittee.
Sincerely,
Joshua A. Douglass, esq.

JOSHUAq A. DOUGLASS, ESQ. MILLERTON SQUARE 122 US-44 MILLERTON, NY 12546 (518)789-3636 jdjusticemillerton@gmail.com

Dear Members of the Executive Order 203 Committee, Woodstock Town Board and Woodstock Residents,

The undersigned write, as the Cultural Change & Youth Subcommittee,  with our responses and recommendations to our tasks to meet Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 203. 

The undersigned seek to honor the Town’s statement on its web site which states that, “More recently, the artists and local people have worked together to better the town, joining in efforts to support the library, local planning, local schools, and governments. Woodstock has become truly a melting pot of a tremendously diverse group of people working together for a better way of life.” The undersigned seek to work with the rest of the members of the Committee to make that statement a reality. The undersigned believe that such work would honor Executive Order 203 which states that, “recent outpouring of protests and demonstrations which have been manifested in every area of the state have illustrated the depth and breadth of the concern”- that “concern” being a “long and painful history in New York State of discrimination and mistreatment of black and African-American citizens dating back to the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in America.” The undersigned believe that a true commitment to Executive Order 203 must mean that we take a systemic view of our Town and 1) understand the reality of our unique situation and 2) come together to root out any, and all, of the systemic racism, socioeconomic disparity and classism that may exist. Because the dominant demographic is reflected in the municipal overlay, racial equity is easily bypassable, the issues that face the police department are not only unsolvable with the current model, but seem to have provided opportunity for a muddying of complex issues that define the needs of our community. This is why the key word, Reinvention is so important to note in the direction of EO203. As the subcommittee tasked with retrofitting wide-view-long-reach steps into constrictive recommendations, we are at a loss to adequately address our recommendations with “SMART” Goals. This speaks directly to the crevasse between effective work and the status quo. Cultural change takes acknowledgement of need, willingness, commitment, and long term persistence toward seemingly illusive goals in an emergent and ever changing process. 

We urge you to take our analysis of the current situation in our Town seriously and to work with us to enact our recommendations so that we can achieve the lofty statements regarding “extending beyond” the mandate and to help bring understanding about the truth of the “melting pot” and the Minority Myth of our Town. The “MELTING POT” is the very ideology which stripped the ancestral culture out of European settlers thereby creating “white” people in an effort to continue the subjugation of Black and Indigenous people who indeed make up the People Of The Global Majority.

The undersigned are frustrated that the Town has forsaken our community for a “thriving Main Street”. Our Town has been losing such a sense for many years now— gentrified just the same as many other communities in this nation- the undersigned would venture that half of the residential buildings in our Town are second homes or utilized for short term rentals. The town prioritizes mainstreet commerce over community retention. The undersigned need not take too much of your time explaining that the pandemic has worsened the economic plight of people of color and the societally challenged- in fact, there are already fifty people on the docket of the Town of Woodstock for evictions- this is a crisis waiting to explode!!

The undersigned believe that our Town has the resources to create a model for the rest of the State- a model community which currently is a destination point for people all over the globe yet our youth, artists, creatives, musicians and generational social equity holders have been distanced. We envision opportunities for our elected officials, and police, to create relationships with Family of Woodstock in a way that benefits those officials in addition to humanizing the individuals they serve. The undersigned wish to join with you to make this vision come to fruition so that we may honor Executive Order 203 in deed as well as word. We believe when we make this vision come to reality we can speak the name of Woodstock with honor once again be more than an inviting destination for folks passing through but for the community who worked to build and embody the vibrancy of our Town.

The undersigned offer you the following recommendations (with attachments which offer more specific analyses of current issues and proposed changes), 

TheWoodstock Police Reform & Reinvention Committee—Cultural Change & Youth Subcommittee

Rachel Marco-Havens

Sage Mannino

Maria Scarangella

Daniel Helmer

Kendall Parker

Eaman Hill

Rubin Kirschner

Jeremiah Tart

RECOMMENDATIONS 

***Some of our recommendations may appear to fall in line with NYS accreditation protocols yet business as usual practices leave this process in the hands of law enforcements “own”.

We agree with much of the recommendations made by other subcommittees yet feel that the light approach leaves little room for implementation of immediate attainable actions which show clear willingness to move toward equity and inclusion in WPD & Municipal Government. 

Many of our Recommendations are simple and some disrupt the status quo and fall in the category of reinvention. 

We acknowledge that the land where the Hamlet of Woodstock, the mountains that surround it and all of the lands within the jurisdiction of this governing body, were built on stolen land. While the history books that teach our children tell of Indigenous erasure as though they were conquered and successfully replaced, may we honor where the many Lenape nations once thrived, who are living and the ancestors who brought them to be. We recognize that all of our privileges rest on the prayers of ancestors who once resided, hunted, fished, prayed and were slaughtered in these lands. To them we owe deep gratitude. Knowing that the roads we drove upon and the homes we live in were built on and by the labor of enslaved humans, we seek to repair the harm that settler colonialist practices continue to inflict upon the land and the people. 

We encourage the Town Municipal meeting to open with honest land acknowledgement, as seen above. 

  1. Prior to dissolution of the eo203: formation of a Community Sourced culturally diverse working body to take on issues, identified by the community and designed with an anti-oppression framework. The design/build team led by BIPOC, Youth and community members of long term context. The formation of a working body is necessary to institute restorative justice practices which will support the municipal governance to take on its own responsibility to the issues within municipal design that has allowed the law enforcement industry to continue with business as usual practices for so long. (SEE Supporting Community Oversight Document)

IMMEDIATE ATTAINABLE ACTIONS:

  • Adopt Justice For Breonna Taylor Act:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3955

  • WPD & TOW Adopt an anti racist resolution. (See example adapted from Onteora Central School’s Resolution below)
  • Study The SanFrancisco Racial Equity Office and Racial Equity Action Plans for Reference with extra support available from Members of the Cultural Shift Committee: https://www.racialequitysf.org/dept-racial-equity-action-plan

A recommendations AS PER Woodstock Reform & Reinvention Sub-Committee Breakdown:

TRAINING:

IMMEDIATE ATTAINABLE ACTIONS:

  • WPD adopt a resolution to accept additional training from professional sources outside of training designed and delivered by law enforcement industry.
  • BECOME AGENTS OF CHANGE:

All Sitting (and Prior to hire or seating in position) WPD chief, officers & dispatch employees, town supervisor & town board members must participate in the full process of Family of Woodstock Volunteer training (https://www.familyofwoodstockinc.org/hotline-textline-volunteer-training-starts-feb-13/) within one year of taking seat or closest opportunity to taking position.

  • FOW’s Volunteer Hotline Training covers the core of Family’s phone and   texting hotline and walk-in services. Training topics include: domestic violence, child abuse, mental health and substance abuse, adolescent  issues, suicide, and homelessness, active, compassionate listening skills and ways to connect with people in need. 
  • *Policy Change: Cultural bias, anti-oppression training refreshers must happen for Woodstock officers BEFORE annual legal & policy refreshers, not after. 
  • Transgender Sensitivity Training- as such provided by Gender Equality New York
    • Adopt a policy requiring officers to refer to transgender individuals by the name, pronouns, and gender they prefer and precluding officers from searching transgender individuals solely for the purpose of determining their biological sex. Also allows individuals to request an officer of a specific gender perform their search. (https://dctranscoalition.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/go-501-02.pdf)
  • Ban police officers from participating in “warrior-style” (fear based) training (ex. Grossman Academy), even when it’s self-funded and off duty. (https://digitalcommons.hamline.edu/dhp/60/)

TO BE SUPPORTED BY THE CEC:

  • Implicit Bias and Cultural Competency (Humility) Training- from an accredited independent training organization such as the National Training Institute on Race and Equality. Completed by every officer at minimum on an annual basis.
  • Family designed mental health training for the police. Woodstock to budget compensation for trainers. ***This is a separate training than the Volunteer training which serves a different purpose

Mental Health:

Empower Family of woodstock

As we research deeper into the relationship between Law Enforcement and Family of Woodstock, it feels like a mutually beneficial relationship. Family needs WPD and vice versa. How can we support the flow of mutual exchange while removing the stigma that rests in the perceived power held by police? How can we consider a level field for redesign which allows the skills, perspective and understanding FOW holds to effectively support the community adhesion necessary for cultural change?

These are some of Woodstock’s (and every municipality and county official who leans on Family Of Woodstock) biggest questions. 

  • Address and lessen The weight that Family of Woodstock bears, Town Of Woodstock to budget compensation with a continuing assessment of municipal weight, levied upon family (CEC)
  • “Keys To The Town Initiative”—TOW provides FOW with full access to the Community Center, Town Hall and any other TOW property when not in use. Ex: Currently, FOW is limited in capacity due to building size etc. 
  • Robust Annual Municipal, WPD led Volunteer and fund Drive for Family Of Woodstock. 
  • WPD Sponsored Fundraiser for Family of Woodstock Mobile Crisis Unit 
  • Research Assessment of TOW solutions for municipal allocation of funds for Family Of Woodstock in accordance with municipal strain—Prioritizing the mandate that Family retain complete functional, procedural and fiscal autonomy.
  • Research Annual “Community Engagement Fee” as an additional Land Tax Line set by percentage measured in accordance with income beginning at $50k With collection and distribution to FOW administrated by the TOW. **Conveniently tax deductible as it goes directly to Family Of Woodstock. 
  • WPD to adopt a resolution to disinclude cannabis as reasonable suspicion for stop and search and to end petty Marijuana arrests as the state faces imminent legalization. As well, this is a possible “reasonable search” which likely serves the exacerbation of youth stop and frisks. 

YOUTH:

  • Reduce/limit/abolish “targeted areas” of where “Police” intersect with the youth The current industry model of “increasing police presence” in response to a trend in profiling (in one of our more prevalent cases Youth) must be addressed. 
  • Ban searches especially on minors w/o Parental Supervision
  • Youth Led Community Police Relational Trainings 

TO BE SUPPORTED BY THE CEC:

  • Youth Designed Youth Advocacy Program (CEC)
  • Youth Design of Woodstock Youth Center programs, governance and building usage
  • Municipal Inclusion of people between the ages of 16 & 28, with voting power in town governance
  • Relegate Questioning of minor to mandatory presence of CEC member or approved advocate

Accountability

Police usually investigate and decide what, if any, consequences their fellow officers should face in cases of police misconduct. Under this system, fewer than 1 in every 12 complaints of police misconduct nationwide results in some kind of disciplinary action against the officer(s) responsible. Communities need an urgent way to ensure police officers are held accountable for police violence.

Immediate Attainable Actions 

  • Police (and eo203 committee) study and adopt Ulster County Justice Reform Policy located here:  

COMMUNITY EQUITY COMMISSION ***which includes police oversight department (see below) 

All-Civilian Municipalwide focused Anti-oppression office/commission be founded, designed and staffed by People Of The Global Majority/Bipoc/Community-Need contexted humans and embedded within Woodstock municipal governance before dissolution and in replacement of EO203 committee.

This Office would be a Division of the Woodstock Human Rights Commission. 

  • Its purpose is to advance Racial, Socio-Economic and Social Equity in the town and repair harm done by government policy decisions that have created, upheld, or exacerbated Social Disparities in the town (many of which weigh on the police department and its ability to function as a peacekeeping entity and Family of Woodstock as well) 
  • Have authority to analyze the disparate impacts of pending ordinances, as well as various other policy and reporting functions in order to enact a Municipal-Wide Racial/Socio-economic Equity Framework, to support and guide Departments of the Town of Woodstock in developing and implementing mandated Social Equity Action Plans. These Equity Plans set forth a framework and baseline strategies for all boards & committees to address within their social equity work and racial/social equity plans. 
  • Support the re-approach to Comprehensive plan with a post covid/anti oppression framework
  • Centered Solutionary Anti-Oppression focus on opportunities for distribution of resources (medical, health, food, safety, financial, housing/land, Youth (regeneration), Music Arts & Culture)
  • The Pine Project—Engage in a Reparations Study of Large swath land/landowners with consideration of land returns to the Woodstock Housing Committee, prioritizing BIPOC land returns in regions of Woodstock jurisdiction sited for or owned by families connected to the enslavement of humans.
  • Do discovery and make cultural shift recommendations to Woodstock Land Conservancy 
    • support them in moving toward creating food forests and residential stewardship positions for (including displaced) lifetime community members of Woodstock. 

example: Sloan Gorge Preserve—drop one small off grid pad with a shallow well for a tiny home inhabited by a young environmentally focused local steward who lives there rent free in exchange for protecting the land. 

Thorne Preserve is the perfect place for an orchard. With 60 acres, there is plenty of land, again, for an environmentally conscious steward to support the growth of food and medicine growth. There are medicinal mycelium which grow in our forests can heal our elders. Our youth can learn more than simply the ecosystems that have been able to grow amongst the settlers, but prior to contact, these forests were tended by Indigenous women who functioned together, intertribally, across nations, to feed the humans who lived in the Eastern Woodland Nations. Western models are insufficient and serve benchmarks and stopgaps rather than simple solutions to human need.   

COMMUNITY POLICE OVERSIGHT (a Department of the Community Equity Commission) 

Police Oversight structure with discipline power within a Police Commission and Civilian Complaints Office would hold  embark upon full discovery of police procedures and practices and hold the following

Dear Members of the Executive Order 203 Committee, Woodstock Town Board and Woodstock Residents,

The undersigned write, as the Cultural Change & Youth Subcommittee,  with our responses and recommendations to our tasks to meet Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 203. 

The undersigned seek to honor the Town’s statement on its web site which states that, “More recently, the artists and local people have worked together to better the town, joining in efforts to support the library, local planning, local schools, and governments. Woodstock has become truly a melting pot of a tremendously diverse group of people working together for a better way of life.” The undersigned seek to work with the rest of the members of the Committee to make that statement a reality. The undersigned believe that such work would honor Executive Order 203 which states that, “recent outpouring of protests and demonstrations which have been manifested in every area of the state have illustrated the depth and breadth of the concern”- that “concern” being a “long and painful history in New York State of discrimination and mistreatment of black and African-American citizens dating back to the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in America.” The undersigned believe that a true commitment to Executive Order 203 must mean that we take a systemic view of our Town and 1) understand the reality of our unique situation and 2) come together to root out any, and all, of the systemic racism, socioeconomic disparity and classism that may exist. Because the dominant demographic is reflected in the municipal overlay, racial equity is easily bypassable, the issues that face the police department are not only unsolvable with the current model, but seem to have provided opportunity for a muddying of complex issues that define the needs of our community. This is why the key word, Reinvention is so important to note in the direction of EO203. As the subcommittee tasked with retrofitting wide-view-long-reach steps into constrictive recommendations, we are at a loss to adequately address our recommendations with “SMART” Goals. This speaks directly to the crevasse between effective work and the status quo. Cultural change takes acknowledgement of need, willingness, commitment, and long term persistence toward seemingly illusive goals in an emergent and ever changing process. 

We urge you to take our analysis of the current situation in our Town seriously and to work with us to enact our recommendations so that we can achieve the lofty statements regarding “extending beyond” the mandate and to help bring understanding about the truth of the “melting pot” and the Minority Myth of our Town. The “MELTING POT” is the very ideology which stripped the ancestral culture out of European settlers thereby creating “white” people in an effort to continue the subjugation of Black and Indigenous people who indeed make up the People Of The Global Majority.

The undersigned are frustrated that the Town has forsaken our community for a “thriving Main Street”. Our Town has been losing such a sense for many years now— gentrified just the same as many other communities in this nation- the undersigned would venture that half of the residential buildings in our Town are second homes or utilized for short term rentals. The town prioritizes mainstreet commerce over community retention. The undersigned need not take too much of your time explaining that the pandemic has worsened the economic plight of people of color and the societally challenged- in fact, there are already fifty people on the docket of the Town of Woodstock for evictions- this is a crisis waiting to explode!!

The undersigned believe that our Town has the resources to create a model for the rest of the State- a model community which currently is a destination point for people all over the globe yet our youth, artists, creatives, musicians and generational social equity holders have been distanced. We envision opportunities for our elected officials, and police, to create relationships with Family of Woodstock in a way that benefits those officials in addition to humanizing the individuals they serve. The undersigned wish to join with you to make this vision come to fruition so that we may honor Executive Order 203 in deed as well as word. We believe when we make this vision come to reality we can speak the name of Woodstock with honor once again be more than an inviting destination for folks passing through but for the community who worked to build and embody the vibrancy of our Town.

The undersigned offer you the following recommendations (with attachments which offer more specific analyses of current issues and proposed changes), 

TheWoodstock Police Reform & Reinvention Committee—Cultural Change & Youth Subcommittee

Rachel Marco-Havens

Sage Mannino

Maria Scarangella

Daniel Helmer

Kendall Parker

Eaman Hill

Rubin Kirschner

Jeremiah Tart

RECOMMENDATIONS 

***Some of our recommendations may appear to fall in line with NYS accreditation protocols yet business as usual practices leave this process in the hands of law enforcements “own”.

We agree with much of the recommendations made by other subcommittees yet feel that the light approach leaves little room for implementation of immediate attainable actions which show clear willingness to move toward equity and inclusion in WPD & Municipal Government. 

Many of our Recommendations are simple and some disrupt the status quo and fall in the category of reinvention. 

We acknowledge that the land where the Hamlet of Woodstock, the mountains that surround it and all of the lands within the jurisdiction of this governing body, were built on stolen land. While the history books that teach our children tell of Indigenous erasure as though they were conquered and successfully replaced, may we honor where the many Lenape nations once thrived, who are living and the ancestors who brought them to be. We recognize that all of our privileges rest on the prayers of ancestors who once resided, hunted, fished, prayed and were slaughtered in these lands. To them we owe deep gratitude. Knowing that the roads we drove upon and the homes we live in were built on and by the labor of enslaved humans, we seek to repair the harm that settler colonialist practices continue to inflict upon the land and the people. 

We encourage the Town Municipal meeting to open with honest land acknowledgement, as seen above. 

  1. Prior to dissolution of the eo203: formation of a Community Sourced culturally diverse working body to take on issues, identified by the community and designed with an anti-oppression framework. The design/build team led by BIPOC, Youth and community members of long term context. The formation of a working body is necessary to institute restorative justice practices which will support the municipal governance to take on its own responsibility to the issues within municipal design that has allowed the law enforcement industry to continue with business as usual practices for so long. (SEE Supporting Community Oversight Document)

IMMEDIATE ATTAINABLE ACTIONS:

  • Adopt Justice For Breonna Taylor Act:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3955

  • WPD & TOW Adopt an anti racist resolution. (See example adapted from Onteora Central School’s Resolution below)
  • Study The SanFrancisco Racial Equity Office and Racial Equity Action Plans for Reference with extra support available from Members of the Cultural Shift Committee: https://www.racialequitysf.org/dept-racial-equity-action-plan

A recommendations AS PER Woodstock Reform & Reinvention Sub-Committee Breakdown:

TRAINING:

IMMEDIATE ATTAINABLE ACTIONS:

  • WPD adopt a resolution to accept additional training from professional sources outside of training designed and delivered by law enforcement industry.
  • BECOME AGENTS OF CHANGE:

All Sitting (and Prior to hire or seating in position) WPD chief, officers & dispatch employees, town supervisor & town board members must participate in the full process of Family of Woodstock Volunteer training (https://www.familyofwoodstockinc.org/hotline-textline-volunteer-training-starts-feb-13/) within one year of taking seat or closest opportunity to taking position.

  • FOW’s Volunteer Hotline Training covers the core of Family’s phone and   texting hotline and walk-in services. Training topics include: domestic violence, child abuse, mental health and substance abuse, adolescent  issues, suicide, and homelessness, active, compassionate listening skills and ways to connect with people in need. 
  • *Policy Change: Cultural bias, anti-oppression training refreshers must happen for Woodstock officers BEFORE annual legal & policy refreshers, not after. 
  • Transgender Sensitivity Training- as such provided by Gender Equality New York
    • Adopt a policy requiring officers to refer to transgender individuals by the name, pronouns, and gender they prefer and precluding officers from searching transgender individuals solely for the purpose of determining their biological sex. Also allows individuals to request an officer of a specific gender perform their search. (https://dctranscoalition.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/go-501-02.pdf)
  • Ban police officers from participating in “warrior-style” (fear based) training (ex. Grossman Academy), even when it’s self-funded and off duty. (https://digitalcommons.hamline.edu/dhp/60/)

TO BE SUPPORTED BY THE CEC:

  • Implicit Bias and Cultural Competency (Humility) Training- from an accredited independent training organization such as the National Training Institute on Race and Equality. Completed by every officer at minimum on an annual basis.
  • Family designed mental health training for the police. Woodstock to budget compensation for trainers. ***This is a separate training than the Volunteer training which serves a different purpose

Mental Health:

Empower Family of woodstock

As we research deeper into the relationship between Law Enforcement and Family of Woodstock, it feels like a mutually beneficial relationship. Family needs WPD and vice versa. How can we support the flow of mutual exchange while removing the stigma that rests in the perceived power held by police? How can we consider a level field for redesign which allows the skills, perspective and understanding FOW holds to effectively support the community adhesion necessary for cultural change?

These are some of Woodstock’s (and every municipality and county official who leans on Family Of Woodstock) biggest questions. 

  • Address and lessen The weight that Family of Woodstock bears, Town Of Woodstock to budget compensation with a continuing assessment of municipal weight, levied upon family (CEC)
  • “Keys To The Town Initiative”—TOW provides FOW with full access to the Community Center, Town Hall and any other TOW property when not in use. Ex: Currently, FOW is limited in capacity due to building size etc. 
  • Robust Annual Municipal, WPD led Volunteer and fund Drive for Family Of Woodstock. 
  • WPD Sponsored Fundraiser for Family of Woodstock Mobile Crisis Unit 
  • Research Assessment of TOW solutions for municipal allocation of funds for Family Of Woodstock in accordance with municipal strain—Prioritizing the mandate that Family retain complete functional, procedural and fiscal autonomy.
  • Research Annual “Community Engagement Fee” as an additional Land Tax Line set by percentage measured in accordance with income beginning at $50k With collection and distribution to FOW administrated by the TOW. **Conveniently tax deductible as it goes directly to Family Of Woodstock. 
  • WPD to adopt a resolution to disinclude cannabis as reasonable suspicion for stop and search and to end petty Marijuana arrests as the state faces imminent legalization. As well, this is a possible “reasonable search” which likely serves the exacerbation of youth stop and frisks. 

YOUTH:

  • Reduce/limit/abolish “targeted areas” of where “Police” intersect with the youth The current industry model of “increasing police presence” in response to a trend in profiling (in one of our more prevalent cases Youth) must be addressed. 
  • Ban searches especially on minors w/o Parental Supervision
  • Youth Led Community Police Relational Trainings 

TO BE SUPPORTED BY THE CEC:

  • Youth Designed Youth Advocacy Program (CEC)
  • Youth Design of Woodstock Youth Center programs, governance and building usage
  • Municipal Inclusion of people between the ages of 16 & 28, with voting power in town governance
  • Relegate Questioning of minor to mandatory presence of CEC member or approved advocate

Accountability

Police usually investigate and decide what, if any, consequences their fellow officers should face in cases of police misconduct. Under this system, fewer than 1 in every 12 complaints of police misconduct nationwide results in some kind of disciplinary action against the officer(s) responsible. Communities need an urgent way to ensure police officers are held accountable for police violence.

Immediate Attainable Actions 

  • Police (and eo203 committee) study and adopt Ulster County Justice Reform Policy located here:  

COMMUNITY EQUITY COMMISSION ***which includes police oversight department (see below) 

All-Civilian Municipalwide focused Anti-oppression office/commission be founded, designed and staffed by People Of The Global Majority/Bipoc/Community-Need contexted humans and embedded within Woodstock municipal governance before dissolution and in replacement of EO203 committee.

This Office would be a Division of the Woodstock Human Rights Commission. 

  • Its purpose is to advance Racial, Socio-Economic and Social Equity in the town and repair harm done by government policy decisions that have created, upheld, or exacerbated Social Disparities in the town (many of which weigh on the police department and its ability to function as a peacekeeping entity and Family of Woodstock as well) 
  • Have authority to analyze the disparate impacts of pending ordinances, as well as various other policy and reporting functions in order to enact a Municipal-Wide Racial/Socio-economic Equity Framework, to support and guide Departments of the Town of Woodstock in developing and implementing mandated Social Equity Action Plans. These Equity Plans set forth a framework and baseline strategies for all boards & committees to address within their social equity work and racial/social equity plans. 
  • Support the re-approach to Comprehensive plan with a post covid/anti oppression framework
  • Centered Solutionary Anti-Oppression focus on opportunities for distribution of resources (medical, health, food, safety, financial, housing/land, Youth (regeneration), Music Arts & Culture)
  • The Pine Project—Engage in a Reparations Study of Large swath land/landowners with consideration of land returns to the Woodstock Housing Committee, prioritizing BIPOC land returns in regions of Woodstock jurisdiction sited for or owned by families connected to the enslavement of humans.
  • Do discovery and make cultural shift recommendations to Woodstock Land Conservancy 
    • support them in moving toward creating food forests and residential stewardship positions for (including displaced) lifetime community members of Woodstock. 

example: Sloan Gorge Preserve—drop one small off grid pad with a shallow well for a tiny home inhabited by a young environmentally focused local steward who lives there rent free in exchange for protecting the land. 

Thorne Preserve is the perfect place for an orchard. With 60 acres, there is plenty of land, again, for an environmentally conscious steward to support the growth of food and medicine growth. There are medicinal mycelium which grow in our forests can heal our elders. Our youth can learn more than simply the ecosystems that have been able to grow amongst the settlers, but prior to contact, these forests were tended by Indigenous women who functioned together, intertribally, across nations, to feed the humans who lived in the Eastern Woodland Nations. Western models are insufficient and serve benchmarks and stopgaps rather than simple solutions to human need.   

COMMUNITY POLICE OVERSIGHT (a Department of the Community Equity Commission) 

Police Oversight structure with discipline power within a Police Commission and Civilian Complaints Office would hold  embark upon full discovery of police procedures and practices and hold the following powers:

—receive regular training on policing and civil rights

not have current, former or family of police officers as members

—select its members from candidates offered by community members and organizations

—Engage with stakeholders and consult with regional efforts. 

—Interview individual police officers

—Full study and redesign of police accountability procedure

—Review the police staffing patterns within the department over the last 20 years

—Study  the hiring, policing and arrest trends of the department 

—Reapproach lifetime chief tenure.

—Revisit and reestablish dismantling of home town requirement for chief position ***if the hiring pool were to include long time community established officers. 

—determine policy for the police department based on community input and expertise

—share policy and policy changes in publicly accessible formats

—discipline and dismiss police officers

—hold public disciplinary hearings

—select the candidates for Police Chief, to be hired by the Supervisor

—evaluate and fire the Police Chief, if needed

—receive full-time, competitive salaries for all members

The Civilian Complaints Office should:

—receive, investigate and resolve all civilian complaints against police in 120 days

—establish multiple in-person and online ways to submit, view and discuss complaints

—be immediately notified and required to send an investigator to the scene of a police shooting or in-custody death

—be allowed to interrogate officers less than 48 hours after an incident where deadly force is used

—access crime scenes, subpoena witnesses and files with penalties for non-compliance

—make disciplinary and policy recommendations to the Police Chief

—compel the Police Chief to explain why he/she has not followed a recommendation

—have the Police Commission decide cases where the Police Chief does not follow recommendations

—issue public quarterly reports analyzing complaints, demographics of complainants, status and findings of investigations and actions taken as a result

—be housed in a separate location from the police department

—be funded at an amount no less than 5% of the total police department budget

—have at least 2 investigators for WPD 1 investigator for every 10 police officers or 3 investigators at all times, whichever is greater

—have its Director selected from candidates offered by  community members and organizations of context

—not have current, former or family of police officers on staff, including the Director

—At least 2 youth between 16 and 28

60 percent people of color,socio economically challenge and Youth (16-30) 

—No municipal board affiliation

—Empower the young people who are interested in supporting this effort

ANTI OPPRESSION RESOLUTION SUGGESTION/EXAMPLE:

An Adaptation of Onteora’s Anti-Oppression Resolution

( as written by Dafne DeJejus and adapted for WPD & TOW 

by Sage Mannino & Rachel Marco-Havens

      WHEREAS, we recognize that racism, bigotry, and hate have no place in our community. However, we are dedicated to understanding how racism and socioeconomic oppression is systemic, 

and it is unconsciously and consciously rooted within our institutions, policies, practices 

and symbols, causing trauma that our BIPOC communities (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), youth, creatives, and otherwise socially distanced have endured for centuries and continue to face today.

 WHEREAS, we acknowledge that we must review our own policies, goals, missions, and

 practices and procedures through an anti-racist and equity lens to address issues of racism, bigotry, and hate that still exist within our own community. 

This shall be accomplished by inviting, honoring and responding to the diverse needs of disenfranchised community members through re-examination of policies, procedures, personal conduct and governance, and by promoting relationship building and recruitment of a more diverse corps of shareholders 

 WHEREAS, we shall implement anti-racist training and professional development opportunities that

 require all elected and non elected public officials, officers board and committee members, as well as employees, to be reflective of their own implicit biases and implement progressive

 disciplinary actions for the above mentioned, who do not follow training guidelines or who exhibit racist or socially oppressive behavior

 toward each other, colleagues or any members of the community. Continued education, monitoring, counseling, and 

 mediation of all department activities exhibiting or participating in racist and oppressive behaviors shall also be implemented.

  WHEREAS, these efforts will prepare us to support a more diverse environment for our community members,

 one that acknowledges the burden, of healing the effects of racism and oppression, is the responsibility of every community member we will honor the recommendations above.

 NOW, THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED that the (Inser board/committee/department  As Appropriate. *TOW boards & Committees Mentioned below: 

Woodstock Police Department

Town Of Woodstock

Board of Assessment Review
Cemetery Committee
Comeau Stewardship Advisory Committee (CSAC)
Commission For Civic Design (CCD)
Communication Infrastructure Committee
Complete Streets Committee
Environmental Commission (WEC)
Ethics Board
Housing Committee
Human Rights Commission (HRC)
Planning Board
Police Reform and Reinvention Committee
Senior Recreation Committee
Town Board
Tree Committee
Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)
Zoning Revision Committee

 The municipal bodies and individuals aforementioned signatures,  support any and all initiatives set forth within our community

 That move towards dismantling systemic racism, bigotry and hate, and working towards equal opportunity for all members of our community. 

o) powers:

—receive regular training on policing and civil rights

not have current, former or family of police officers as members

—select its members from candidates offered by community members and organizations

—Engage with stakeholders and consult with regional efforts. 

—Interview individual police officers

—Full study and redesign of police accountability procedure

—Review the police staffing patterns within the department over the last 20 years

—Study  the hiring, policing and arrest trends of the department 

—Reapproach lifetime chief tenure.

—Revisit and reestablish dismantling of home town requirement for chief position ***if the hiring pool were to include long time community established officers. 

—determine policy for the police department based on community input and expertise

—share policy and policy changes in publicly accessible formats

—discipline and dismiss police officers

—hold public disciplinary hearings

—select the candidates for Police Chief, to be hired by the Supervisor

—evaluate and fire the Police Chief, if needed

—receive full-time, competitive salaries for all members

The Civilian Complaints Office should:

—receive, investigate and resolve all civilian complaints against police in 120 days

—establish multiple in-person and online ways to submit, view and discuss complaints

—be immediately notified and required to send an investigator to the scene of a police shooting or in-custody death

—be allowed to interrogate officers less than 48 hours after an incident where deadly force is used

—access crime scenes, subpoena witnesses and files with penalties for non-compliance

—make disciplinary and policy recommendations to the Police Chief

—compel the Police Chief to explain why he/she has not followed a recommendation

—have the Police Commission decide cases where the Police Chief does not follow recommendations

—issue public quarterly reports analyzing complaints, demographics of complainants, status and findings of investigations and actions taken as a result

—be housed in a separate location from the police department

—be funded at an amount no less than 5% of the total police department budget

—have at least 2 investigators for WPD 1 investigator for every 10 police officers or 3 investigators at all times, whichever is greater

—have its Director selected from candidates offered by  community members and organizations of context

—not have current, former or family of police officers on staff, including the Director

—At least 2 youth between 16 and 28

60 percent people of color,socio economically challenge and Youth (16-30) 

—No municipal board affiliation

—Empower the young people who are interested in supporting this effort

ANTI OPPRESSION RESOLUTION SUGGESTION/EXAMPLE:

An Adaptation of Onteora’s Anti-Oppression Resolution

( as written by Dafne DeJejus and adapted for WPD & TOW by Sage Mannino & Rachel Marco-Havens

      “WHEREAS, we recognize that racism, bigotry, and hate have no place in our community. However, we are dedicated to understanding how racism and socioeconomic oppression is systemic, 

and it is unconsciously and consciously rooted within our institutions, policies, practices 

and symbols, causing trauma that our BIPOC communities (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), youth, creatives, and otherwise socially distanced have endured for centuries and continue to face today.

 WHEREAS, we acknowledge that we must review our own policies, goals, missions, and

 practices and procedures through an anti-racist and equity lens to address issues of racism, bigotry, and hate that still exist within our own community. 

This shall be accomplished by inviting, honoring and responding to the diverse needs of disenfranchised community members through re-examination of policies, procedures, personal conduct and governance, and by promoting relationship building and recruitment of a more diverse corps of shareholders 

 WHEREAS, we shall implement anti-racist training and professional development opportunities that

 require all elected and non elected public officials, officers board and committee members, as well as employees, to be reflective of their own implicit biases and implement progressive

 disciplinary actions for the above mentioned, who do not follow training guidelines or who exhibit racist or socially oppressive behavior

 toward each other, colleagues or any members of the community. Continued education, monitoring, counseling, and 

 mediation of all department activities exhibiting or participating in racist and oppressive behaviors shall also be implemented.

  WHEREAS, these efforts will prepare us to support a more diverse environment for our community members,

 one that acknowledges the burden, of healing the effects of racism and oppression, is the responsibility of every community member we will honor the recommendations above.

 NOW, THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED that the (Inser board/committee/department  As Appropriate. *TOW boards & Committees Mentioned (suggested) below;

Woodstock Police Department

Town Of Woodstock

Board of Assessment Review
Cemetery Committee
Comeau Stewardship Advisory Committee (CSAC)
Commission For Civic Design (CCD)
Communication Infrastructure Committee
Complete Streets Committee
Environmental Commission (WEC)
Ethics Board
Housing Committee
Human Rights Commission (HRC)
Planning Board
Police Reform and Reinvention Committee
Senior Recreation Committee
Town Board
Tree Committee
Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)
Zoning Revision Committee

 The municipal bodies and individuals aforementioned signatures,  support any and all initiatives set forth within our community

 That move towards dismantling systemic racism, bigotry and hate, and working towards equal opportunity for all members of our community.”

“May we each embody the healing of our hearts and minds with the recognition of the interdependence of all things and honor for our place on the path to healing the collective conscience.”

Panel 1

WRITING

It is often difficult to find time to write these days, but there was a time when I wrote quite often. That writing lives at the Palace Of Muse. My blog. Click over there, for the archives and new work, as I continue to wax poetic from time to time…
Palace Image

Panel 2

MEDIA

Interview with Seth Bernard on The State Of Water Podcast:

Racial Equity Panel Discussion—Earthwork Harvest Gathering/Title Track 2019

Earthwork Harvest Gathering 2019 Saturday Night Set In The Barn:

Panel discussion after the screening of Awake a Dream From standing Rock” at the Ossining public library in the autumn of 2017:

A moment with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! At the Indigenous People’s Climate March:


IMG_0749


From The Hudson River to Standing Rock, December 19, 2016:

Please watch Tiokasin Ghosthorse from the same evening:


Interfaith Climate Vigil In Support of the community who continues to face the invasion of Spectra/Enbridge’s “Algonquin” Incremental Market 42 inch high pressure fracked gas pipeline which now runs just over 100 feet from critical safety infrastructure at “Indian” point nuke plant. While decommission of said nuclear power plant is  is in process, the community keeps vigilant eye on the process, as that in and of itself is a dangerous procedure, but the infrastructure most threatened by the pipeline remains critical:


At Spinning On Earth With #PathwayToParis’ Jesse Smith & Rebecca Foon


See the whole evening of incredible talent here:

Spinning On Earth Spaceholder
Rachel’s piece begins at 29:08 but please be encouraged to spend a valuable hour watching this beautiful evening in it’s entirety. You will be glad you did.


People Have The Power (^From Spinning On Earth^):


A Branch Of The Talkingstick:

Speaking For Hudson Valley’s Water:

Last November, the Town Of Ulster Supervisor was called to consider municipalities who were clearly affected by his plans for a massive water bottling plant in his town, taking 1.75 million gallons per day from a small lake in Woodstock, which serves as the supply for the City of Kingston—coincidentally and kindly, Kingston provides water to assist him with the water issues in his own Town of Ulster.

**The following clips begin with Rachel—the entire meeting can be viewed by starting at the top of each.

Calling legal compliance, he and the board denied both Woodstock, and Kingston a voice as Involved Agencies in the Environmental Review, while discussing a segmented action, which, is coincidentally, outside of the law.

Somehow, by the grace of community action, the diligence of several and the supportive power of numbers, we were able to send a major bottling company looking elsewhere to land their project. Many in the Hudson Valley Region are still working to secure our infrastructures, repair inter-municipal relationships,    and bolster the immune system of our collective commons with an eye on sustainability and restorative economic development. The Hudson Valley holds too much of New York’s heritage to tackle our economic problems with industrial and urban sprawl…


Woodstock Story Slam 2015:


Woodstock Story Slam 2014:


Some Fun From The Archives!


New Mayden tune! Featuring contributions from Eric StoyeDustin Russell SwanRachel Marco-HavensShamsi RuheBobby BurkeMichael Clip PayneJoe BonesRansom WydnerStephanie Webb:

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 4.22.08 AM
I Absolutely LOVED bringing sweet highs to this amazing song!


Vila Vila Kula:


Panel 3

CONTACT

Thank you for reaching out!

FOR BOOKING CONTACT: GREG (@) CONSCIOUSCAMPUS.COM

TO REACH RACHEL PLEASE USE THE FORM BELOW