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"Coins, Cops, and Communities" Toolkit

Artwork and Design by Nicole Trinidad, Intern with AFSC Chicago in Summer 2016 Photo: / AFSC

This toolkit contains activities and supplemental materials for exploring the costs of policing in Chicago and what community safety can look like beyond the police.  It was developed by youth interns during a summer service learning project in June-August of 2016.  

Activities Include:

Imagine an Ideal Community: This mind-mapping activity allows participants to start thinking creatively about community safety and what resources and services a city needs in order for its people to thrive. The ideas brought up in this brainstorm can then be used as a reference for creating budget categories in the following “A
City Budget in Pennies” activity.

A City Budget in Pennies: Using pennies, participants will design their own city budget and compare that to actual spending in Chicago.

Safety for Whom: Participants will discuss how we can maintain community safety without police and understand others’ views when it comes to their own safety.

Seattle: A Case Study: Participants will learn about a concrete example of a shift in resources from police to community needs, and have the opportunity to write their own Op-Ed

Grassroots Resistance & Action Steps: Participants will research real-time efforts to challenge city spending practices in Chicago and/or defund the police. They’ll also have the opportunity to give a short presentation about their research and create an action plan for supporting these efforts themselves! 

Youth Produced Videos!

Let's Talk About Community Safety (Running Time 3 Minutes 10 Seconds)

By: Alexandra Marie

What Do You Know About Chicago Spending on Police (Running Time 2 Minutes 57 Seconds)

By: Nicole Trinidad


Toolkit Created by:

Nicole Trinidad, Melisa Stephen, Alexandra Marie, Kaleb Autman, Debbie Southorn

Many Thanks to the Following for offering their Input, Guidance, and Support:

Mariame Kaba, Mary Zerkel, Joey Mogul, Kristiana Colon, Janaé Bonsu, Amisha Patel

What Do You Know About Chicago Spending on Police?
This youth-produced video features on the street interviews with passersby in downtown Chicago, to...
Chicago Police Spending Budget Strip
Everyday, the City of Chicago spends more than $4 million dollars on the Chicago Police Department...