Today volunteers from the Jobs NOT Jails Coalition will wrap 150 yards of “safety orange” fabric around the State House, with 46,643 Jobs NOT Jails petition signatures attached. We’ll also deliver copies of Michelle Alexander’s ‘The New Jim Crow’ to every legislator.
On Monday, we sent legislators an email, on behalf of the Jobs Not Jails coalition. We invited them to join us in front of the State House between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. this Wednesday, April 30, to celebrate the Commonwealth’s movement away from Mass Incarceration and toward full employment – and to stand with us as we work to continue that movement. We asked our law-makers to show their support by signing our large-scale version of our petition and to take action on the legislative / budgetary priorities listed below this session.
CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS:
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:
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS
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.
Increase House Budget Section 4512-0202, Provides funding to divert people charged with non-violent drug offenses into addiction-treatment programs instead of prison. This successful program should be expanded.
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 at JobsNotJails.org. The items listed above are just six of the most immediately viable and pertinent issues.
Please forward this message to everyone in your network!