2015 Stop Punishing Taxpayers, Start Rebuilding Community
This booklet for Whatcom County Voters was co-authored by Joy with Irene Morgan, the Founder of the Restorative Community Coalition. We teamed up to research and produce this is visionary approach to do a social-economic-civic turnaround for the voters of Whatcom County – to provide choices. The research was done by members of the Restorative Community Coalition to show the community how it is possible to reverse our economic tax addiction to jails as a negative economic driver of our local economy.
The Coalition has found that the jail industrial complex is literally traumatizing and harming the poor and people who have experienced misfortune in our community – at their point of vulnerability – in a crisis. One ripple effect is how the entire family is then thrown into poverty under investigation. Then, the impacts ripple out to marginalizing our middle class and small businesses while expanding the co-dependence of the government expansion. Then it needs more taxes to build facilities, destroying the social fabric while funding the development of the School to Prison pipeline.
This booklet was written after Joy had done 5 years of research into the privateering business model, and as Joy Gilfilen was a candidate for Whatcom County Executive. She found that the denial factor was high, and she needed to show the public that there were options to not build a massive expanded regional jail project in Whatcom County. We could rebuild our safety net, fix our mental health programs, provide housing programs – all at a fraction of the cost of arresting, jailing, traumatizing and creating homelessness, joblessness, and complex poverty and mental health systems.