Community activists are working to pass local ordinances in the sanctuary city model in communities in the Berkshires.
A collection of different Berkshire grassroots organizations have come together with a very specific mission: get individual communities in the county to pass their own versions of a trust policy.
“A trust policy is a local ordinance to promote trust, safety, and inclusion for all people in a community by passing a local ordinance called a trust act or a trust policy to ensure that local police equally and equitably respect the rights of all members of the community, and specifically don’t work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to target and deport undocumented immigrants outside of criminal cases," said Jeff Lowenstein. He's a community organizer for Berkshire Interfaith Organizing — or BIO — and a Berkshire native. “And I’m one of BIO’s representatives to the Trust Policy Partnership, which is a group that formed as part of the campaign to pass the Great Barrington trust policy last year, to working to pass these kinds of policies in cities and towns throughout Berkshire County.”
Lowenstein says the movement emerged from the 2016 election and the subsequent Trump administration crackdown on undocumented immigrants in the United States.