our successes

pvp's campaigns have brought millions of dollars in new resources to springfield and our region.  Our organizing has resulted in policy changes that have improved the lives of thousands of families in Springfield, holyoke and across the commonwealth. Some of our recent victories include:  

in 2020

  • As the initial stay-at-home orders commenced, Springfield officials announced the construction of two state-of-the-art tent facilities at a cost of $398,000 for the stated purpose of testing and isolating homeless residents.  It quickly became clear that the city was only offering the services at the tent to a small portion of the homeless community at one shelter without any outreach to the two additional shelters or to homeless residents not staying in any shelter.  PVP members fought for and won testing equity for homeless residents at all shelters.  

 

  • Following the reinstatement of five Springfield Police officers by Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood who are currently under criminal indictment, charged with the cover up of the 2015 assault of four African American men by off-duty police officers at Nathan Bill's Restaurant, PVP and the Greater Springfield NAACP called for and won the re-suspension of the five police officers.

 

  • Following the circulation on social media of a racist dress code posted at Nathan Bill’s Restaurant, PVP and the NAACP won removal of the dress code, a public apology from the owner of the restaurant along with his commitment to underwrite the cost of the Black Lives Matter mural across from Springfield City Hall and a commitment for future fundraising at Nathan Bill's to support black-owned restaurants.

 

  • PVP Youth Voices United members are leading the charge demanding an end to the MOU between Springfield Public Schools and Springfield Police Department and remove police officers from Springfield middle and high schools. The students have already held a digital town hall on the issue with Mayor Domenic Sarno and Superintendent Daniel Warwick along with a peaceful protest with hundreds in attendance. 

 

  • PVP has already distributed over $40,000 in direct financial support to some of Springfield’s most vulnerable immigrant families, most of whom are frontline workers. 

in 2019

  • Along with our allies, we won a $1.5 billion increase in new school funding in Massachusetts in November which will be phased in over the next seven years.  This will mean millions in additional resources for Springfield’s schools!  This victory is a major step forward in ensuring every student has the right to a good public education regardless of their zip code.  Whether it was meetings with legislators, turning out for rallies and forums or giving testimony at the State House, PVP members were present and leading every step of the way!  

 

  • Our members led a coalition effort to pass the Welcoming Community Trust Ordinance in Springfield.  This ordinance ensures that all city residents can access services from city departments and clarifies the relationship between our municipal government and federal immigration enforcement.  Ordinances similar to Springfield’s have been shown to build trust between immigrant communities and police departments, helping to solve more crimes in a community.  When all of our residents feel safe to interact with city departments, we are all better off!

 

  • PVP Youth Voices United (YVU) leaders have led the call for corporate engagement and accountability from Smith & Wesson, the country’s largest gun manufacturer.  In a November 14th New York Times article, it was reported that American Outdoor Brands, the parent company of Smith & Wesson will spin off its firearms unit (Smith and Wesson), in part, an expert on the firearm industry said, because the “violence of the last few years has drawn a lot of unwanted attention to Smith & Wesson, whose firearms have been used in several mass shootings.”  We are proud of the PVP YVU leaders who have played a central role in generating and sustaining this “unwanted attention” in 2019 and pressing for Smith & Wesson to be an industry leader in identifying solutions to gun violence.    

 

  • As the opioid crisis continues to grow, the research shows that addiction rates are growing much faster among women than among men.  In order to respond to this reality, it is essential that women have equitable access to opportunities for treatment and recovery.  The stark reality is that currently in Massachusetts, there are far fewer female beds at treatment facilities and in the case of female beds under the new Section 35 law, there are none for women in all of western Massachusetts.  PVP members are partnering with Sheriff Cocchi and our legislative delegation to address this glaring inequity and we won’t quit until women have the same access to treatment as men do.  

in 2018

  • After a four-year campaign with our partners across the commonwealth, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law in April the most significant criminal justice reforms in a generation.  The reforms included in the new law will eliminate mandatory minimums for certain low-level drug offenses, increase the use of diversion programs,  and shorten the time required to seal a CORI.  In addition, the Springfield Drug Court has graduated its first participants and has become a model in the region.  PVP remains committed to healing, redemption and a criminal justice system that serves the people of Massachusetts equally. 

  • We reject an immigration system that scapegoats immigrants of color and tears families apart.  PVP stands with our undocumented brothers and sisters and as part of this commitment, PVP organized the Springfield Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition in 2017.  In March of this year, the coalition invited Gisella Collazo, a Peruvian mother of two sons who is married to an American citizen into sanctuary at South Congregational Church.  That same day, Springfield mayor Dominic Sarno publicly threatened the sanctuary and even sent building inspectors and the fire marshal to South Congregational a few days later in an attempt to intimidate Gisella and the church.  In addition, the mayor called for the church’s  tax-exempt status to be taken away.  Our members moved into action by staying overnight at the church and standing in solidarity with Gisella and her family with their presence, their prayers, their singing and their efforts to pass a legally-binding order preventing the mayor and all city employees from further interference with South Congregational’s 1st Amendment right to offer sanctuary as part of their expression of faith.  The order was passed unanimously by city council.   In June, Gisella was granted a stay of deportation and rejoined her family to continue to work toward her adjustment of status.  Gisella's was the first successful sanctuary case in Massachusetts.  In addition, PVP provided accompaniment to 24 undocumented residents for ICE check-ins and immigration court appearances during this time of great anxiety and vulnerability. PVP believes no one should stand alone.

  • PVP student leaders, faith leaders and our Boston-based partner, B-PEACE for Jorge Campaign came together over 250 strong in March to publicly call on Smith and Wesson, the maker of the gun used in the mass shooting in Parkland, FL to come to the table and meet with young people and be part of the solution to ending gun violence. This effort is youth-led with a focus on centering the leadership and experiences of young people of color in cities, voices that are often left on the margins of the national conversation about gun violence.   

 

  • PVP and its partners from across the state won passage of legislation raising the minimum wage in Massachusetts to $15 and offering Paid Family and Medical Leave to families across the Commonwealth.  We believe that every worker should earn a living wage and that workers should be able to care for themselves and family members during a health crisis without fear of losing their income. This victory means a raise for almost 50 percent of Springfield’s workers!

  • PVP organized its first public action in Holyoke in April with over 300 people, kicking off a campaign with families displaced from Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.  These families remained stuck in hotels without any clear path to permanent housing a barrier which prevented employment, impacted physical and mental health and even prevented adults from getting a Massachusetts driver’s license.  The families we organized took their fight all the way to Capitol Hill and won several national FEMA extensions which kept thousands across the country from becoming homeless.  The families also won the release of approximately $1 million dollars from the Commonwealth to provide resources to displaced families to move out of hotels and into permanent housing.  Every single family was in permanent housing by December 31st.  Everyone who is displaced by natural disaster, whether in Texas or Puerto Rico deserves equal access and support from national and state agencies charged with helping families to find safe refuge and move on with their lives.   

text your name to 413.214.5100 to get updates!

45 Maple St., Springfield, MA 01105

(413) 827-0781

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PVP is a proud

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Pioneer Valley Project is a 501c(3). PVP is non-partisan and is not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.