On Wednesday, April 30, EPOCA will be following up the rally held on Saturday, by demonstrating at the Statehouse and delivering copies of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness” By Michelle Alexander, to all 40 senators and 160 representatives, courtesy of EMIT, Ending Mass Incarceration Together, a non-partisan, non-denominational effort with Unitarian Universalist roots.
If you can’t come on Wednesday, you can call your legislators as well as the speaker of the house and senate president. See the message below from EPOCA, Ex Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement. If you want to deliver a book to your legislator, find us at 10 am at Sen. Jamie Eldridge’s office, Room 413 of the Statehouse.
Below is a script, with information about six items that are immediately possible, which will help end mass incarceration and fund job creation. Please call:
- Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo (617) 722-2500
- Senate President Therese Murray (617) 722-1500
- Your own Representative and Senator. Find their names and numbers at www.WhereDoIVoteMA.com
Tell them you support Jobs Not Jails and ask them to vote for the following items:
- H.1646, An Act to repeal mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. Mandatory sentencing is one of the major causes of over-incarceration, and leads to disproportionately long sentences for low-level drug offenders – and even innocent people who have no information to trade to a district attorney.
- S.1643/H.3099, An Act relative to motor vehicle license suspension. This bill would repeal the law that automatically suspends a person’s driver’s license upon the conviction of any drug offense (not related to driving), followed by a minimum $500 reinstatement fee. The current law makes it extremely difficult for people who are trying to secure employment and rebuild their lives.
- House Budget Section 4512-0202, Provides funding to divert people charged with non-violent drug offenses into addiction-treatment programs instead of prison.
- Spend $26.5 million on Youth Jobs, to engage young people in positive, self-sustaining work! $9.5 million for SSYI (jobs for teens who have been struggling)
- $12 million for Youth Works (jobs in the community)
- $5 million for School to Career (private sector jobs)
- Raise the Minimum Wage to $10.50, and index it to inflation. Low-wage workers should not have to see their incomes weakened even further by inflation every year, even while corporate profits soar.
- Oppose H.1311, which would charge applicants $50 per case for a request to seal their CORI. This bill filed by Rep. Fernandes of Milford severely undermines CORI reform. People have to struggle for 5-10 years before sealing a CORI, often unemployed or underemployed, and this fee (which could mount to hundreds of dollars as people are hit with multiple charges for one offense) could close the door on this hope.
You don’t have to list them all! Elect your own priorities. Find out more atJobsNotJails.org. The items listed above are just six of the most immediately viable and pertinent iss