Issue(s): Ending Mass Incarceration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2020
Bilen Mesfin Packwood, Bilen@change-llc.com
Community Groups, Families Urge Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley to Publicly Oppose Proposition 20
OAKLAND, CA – Community groups and families with the Justice Reinvestment Coalition of Alameda County are urging Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley to publicly oppose a law enforcement measure on the November ballot that would harm Black communities and communities of color and reverse criminal justice reform in the state. The DA stated that she does not support the measure in a meeting with community groups (SEE LINK) but would not yet commit to publicly opposing this ballot measure.
“At a time in this country where our racial divide has grown wider and criminal justice reform is a top concern, communities must hold elected law enforcement officials accountable so all our families are protected and see justice,” said Zay Coleman, Organizer, with Urban Peace Movement and the Justice Reinvestment Coalition. “To move forward on racial justice, we can’t go back on the important progress we have made to end mass incarceration.”
During a meeting with community groups and impacted families on September 15, 2020, DA O’Malley agreed not to publicly support Prop 20, a measure that would roll back effective criminal justice reform measures, waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on prisons, and harm Black communities and communities of color. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst says Prop 20 will cost “tens of millions of dollars” every year, which could force draconian cuts to rehabilitation in prison for people getting out, mental health programs, schools, healthcare, housing, and support for survivors. Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen and Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton have publicly opposed the measure.
O’Malley also said she would publicly support Prop 17, which will amend the California Constitution so that Californians who have completed their prison term can fully participate in our democracy by restoring their right to vote. Nearly 50,000 Californians who have returned home from prison are barred from voting even though they are raising families, holding jobs, paying taxes, and contributing to society in every other way.
“We urge DA O’Malley to speak up against Prop 20, which unfairly punishes Black and Latinx people, and that other DAs will follow O’Malley’s lead,” said Ali Birts, organizer with All of Us or None and the Justice Reinvestment Coalition said. “Her support of Prop 17 signals her willingness to make sure people are not shut out of our democracy.”
The Justice Reinvestment Coalition of Alameda County is committed to creating a fair and just public safety system based on effective practices that invest in our communities, our families, and our people.