The Police Department on Wednesday listened to input from residents about how it can do more to reach out to people of color at a time when violent, racist actions by police in other parts of the country dominate the national conversation.
Food insecurity, housing, child care, education, financial literacy, and substance abuse were among the subjects of the poverty forum sponsored by the Berkshire Community Action Council and hosted at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Friday morning.
But when the topics are narrowed down and announced, Executive Director Amber Besaw warned, people in the room on Friday shouldn't be surprised if they saw ideas they hadn't heard mentioned in the room at The Green. That's because, for the first time, the Coalition held a call-in session on Aug. 23 to gather ideas. And, Coalition staffers will be hitting the streets and community events to talk to still more people about the needs.
Community leaders representing law enforcement, youth services, local government and the drug treatment community will discuss the changing landscape of marijuana's place in Southern Berkshire County with an extended question-and-answer period from the audience.
After months of debate and public input at its regular monthly meetings, the panel has crafted two proposals that allow more flexibility to homeowners who want to put a second or third dwelling unit on a residential lot.