Carbondale Spring is a people’s movement focused on defunding the Carbondale, IL Police Department and transferring those funds to build the conditions for a livable future. Since February 2019, residents of Carbondale have been making the case for drastic police reductions redirecting those funds into four initiatives: Food Autonomy, Care Workers, a Renewable Energy Fund, and a Cooperative Business Fund.

We see these initiatives as basic necessities for shared life in the world that is taking shape around us. Yet despite many reasonable arguments and presentations for over a year, the City of Carbondale has continued to prioritize the overfunding of the Carbondale Police Department instead of meeting the direct needs and priorities of its residents. Carbondale Spring has not waited around idly. Instead, we have launched a series of demonstration projects to prove that our ideas can work on the ground and to start building the city we need, with or without the support of the city hall.

DEFUND THE POLICE

In the wake of the police murder of George Floyd, the rebellion in Minneapolis, and the global movement against white supremacy, the call to defund the police has moved from the margins of politics to the very center. We believe this is more than just possible for Carbondale — we believe that it is necessary for us to both overcome the tremendous financial burden the police department levies on the town, to break with the continuous history of white supremacy that is inseparable from the institution of policing in America, and to fund the path to an ecological future.

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FOOD AUTONOMY

the creation of a healthy, local food production and distribution system, made available to people for free, outside the barriers posed by the market or government programs

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CARE WORKERS

the creation of a unarmed, crisis intervention team trained in trauma-informed de-escalation techniques, to address many of the calls currently directed toward the police

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RENEWABLE ENERGY

a fund to allow access to solar energy for low-income homeowners, and to help with experimentation in energy-reduction through collective social innovation.

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WORKER COOPERATIVES

a fund to transition local businesses into worker-owned cooperatives, and to start new worker-owned cooperatives;

For over a year, we have been building the roots for a new form of life in our town and region. We’ve faced many obstacles, built many relationships, and had some successes beyond our expectations.

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