GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Members of a local organization will hold their first of a series of events that they say aim to help make Grand Rapids safer and healthier.

The Coalition for Community Owned Safety is asking the public to join them in their efforts as they reinvest in the city.

Over the next month, residents can learn more about the city’s budget, how that money is dispersed and how it can be used to address crime.

“Municipal budgets are hard to understand. The city of Grand Rapids’ budget is over 500 pages, and residents are rarely invited to dive deeper than press headlines to understand how their tax dollars are being spent,” ACLU of Michigan board member and attorney Joe Marogil said.

Various organizations will facilitate the workshops. The first series will begin Thursday with a conversation about how the public can invest their tax dollars into the future of police accountability.

This event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the LINC Up Gallery located at 1167 Madison Ave. SE in Grand Rapids.

“Our coalition is helping people understand whether the city is moving in the right direction on spending priorities. We want to use these events as an opportunity to ask residents if they believe our city should be doing anything differently,” Marogil said.

The second part of the series is on Dec. 10, as Marogil discusses how tax dollars can be used in the future of environmental sustainability. On Dec. 15, the public can learn more about how to address mental health.

Affordable housing and equitable economic development are also topics. Dates for that are still being determined.

“We all want a safe city. Now, everyone can have a say in advocating for how we create it,” Coalition Director Denavvia Mojet said.

The workshops are free to attend. In addition, the first 25 people will get a free $25 gift card. You can learn more here.