• ACT NOW! WE WANT DECARCERATION OF OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN PRISON DUE TO COVID-19
    State Vs Us Magazine PO Box 29291 Baltimore, MD 21213 Attention Governors, LT Governors, Wardens, and Assistant Wardens: As you are well aware this pandemic has impacted so many lives worldwide. It is very well understood that those individuals who are incarcerated are there as a result of some crime they have committed or maybe didn’t commit either way they’re human. As a result of this virus causing a detrimental global impact incarcerated individuals who can’t practice social distancing in their already controlled environment are most susceptible. COVID-19 has directly and indirectly impacted our community and that includes incarcerated individuals and juveniles. There is no reason to act like these men, women, and children aren’t human as animals are treated better. COVID-19 should not be a death sentence for those accused of a crime nor those found guilty of a crime. The Governor has a moral obligation to ensure the safety of all humans within their state - that includes those incarcerated. As people, as humans, as children, and as adults we all have broken a law, did something wrong and some of us have been able to never see handcuffs or even a prison cell. America has proved over and over how judgment on others continues to be a plague on our community. At some point, our human must kick in and we must ask ourselves when will we act accordingly and think of others at doing right by them. Whether we are in the same tax bracket or not WE are a community. Our children are being taken from the comfort of their homes due to poverty in the middle of a pandemic. How fair is that? Children are being trafficked through the system and parents are hysterical. We ask you what if this were your child, place yourself in their shoes. The relationship between Slavery and families being separated by systems is no accident. Treating animals in the zoo better than families of color is disgusting - color does not remove our humanity - How will you sleep at night when this pandemic is over and nearly every incarcerated person is deceased - Knowing you had the power to change their outcomes and give them a chance to live. This letter serves as an effort to make our communities safer and save those lives who can’t save their own. Here is a list of demands for you to act on ASAP. This has to happen and has to happen now. History has proven that black America is 13% black and the prison population is 34% black. We are the most affected and this is your chance to correct an over 400 years long wrong. I challenge you to adhere to what is necessary and needed to not only improve families’ relationships but communities. *Better living conditions for our incarcerated individuals *Free phone calls and emails home to families *Return children who were separated from their family for reasons related to neglect *Children whose parents have been visiting with them and seeking their return *Children who the family court system has a goal of return to parent *Release all people in jail who are incarcerated on pre-trial and bondable offenses *Release all people who have a year or less *Release disable, sickly, and elderly individuals *Release non-violent offenses *Create emergency housing for returning citizens *We demand full compliance with all of the clauses of the eighth amendment cruel and unusual punishment clauses of the constitution. *We demand full compliance with the CARES ACT and immediate home confinement placement of those individuals who meet the requirements. With all love and prayer that you understand where I’m coming from as you will do the right thing. Tia Hamilton CEO, State Vs Us Magazine
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  • Seize the Masks-- Save Our Nurses & CNA's!
    Our frontline healthcare providers will within weeks be forced to choose between saving their own lives and doing their jobs, because of the government's failure to prepare for this pandemic by buying enough equipment--especially masks. The vast majority of these jobs are held by women, people of color, or recent immigrants. I know I am not the only mother who cannot sleep nights worrying about a loved one who is a health care worker. In my home city of new Haven, our first Covid-19 casualty was of course a Black man who worked at a health care facility serving the community. As a result of the bans on essential travel, I do not know when I will again see my own daughter, who is putting herself through nursing school while caring for patients in Boston. I pray she will not save others only to end up sick herself.
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    Created by Jen Vickery Picture
  • Governor of Kentucky Andy Beshear Please Freeze Rent, Mortgages, Car Payments and Utilities
    In the past 2 weeks thousands of residences in Kentucky have been laid off do to their employer closing and most won’t be able to pay bills including rent, mortgages, car payments or basic utilities. College students have been forced go home because they don’t have a roof over their head during these hard times! We need our governor more than ever to stand with us and help us get through this. Thank you!
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    Created by People Of Kentucky
  • Kym Worthy-COVID-19 Demands
    The decarceral guidelines below are designed to prevent three things: social spreading, jail “churn,” and the deaths of vulnerable people. Social Spreading In order to prevent the rapid growth of COVID-19 from overburdening our health-care system and claiming lives, both those in secure facilities and the people who work in them, it is the responsibility of decision-makers at every level to prevent and contain the spread of the virus by taking action to promote the most effective strategy in abating the pandemic: social distancing in order to slow “community spread.” The Particular Issue of Jail and Prison “Churn” Jails and Prisons combine the worst aspects of a cruise ship and a large public gathering and, thus, can be the perfect breeding ground for the spread of COVID-19. People are constantly booked into and out of jail and prison facilities and each night guards, vendors, and other jail staff are going home while others are coming in- which results in a massive turnover. For example, more than half of the people in jail are only in there for two to three days. Further, enclosed structures like jails can cause COVID-19 to spread like wildfire and introducing just one person with it can lead to it impacting not just everyone inside the jail or prison but anyone leaving the facility—whether a person who is released or staff returning back to their homes— who then interact with their communities. Preventive Measures Cannot Be Taken in Jails and Prisons. Experts recommend that to protect the people most vulnerable from death or serious illness from COVID-19 that they are appropriately separated through social distancing. Yet separating sick people from well people to prevent the disease from spreading can be nearly impossible in prison due to logistical considerations.
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    Created by Nicholas Buckingham
  • Rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge for Congressman John Lewis
    It's an important thing to honor Congressman John Lewis who is the son of Alabama and show that Alabama has changed to understand the importance of civil rights for all people, especially since Congressman Lewis spilled blood on that bridge in 1963.
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    Created by Jorge Anderson El Picture
  • ITS BIGGER THAN GM!!!!
    On September 15th at 11:59PM more than 45,000 United Auto Workers (UAW) in 10 states went on strike. No state feels the brunt of this more than Michigan, the American auto capital. And as we know, black union workers always end up with the shortest end of the stick. The UAW went on strike to demand that GM increase wages, offer wage progression for new hires, improve healthcare and prescription drug benefits, and provide better overall job security. GM's current CEO, Mary Barra, makes $22 million dollars a year while GM’s temporary employees who have been there more than 4 years, get paid less than $16 dollars an hour. GM's announcement on September 17th to cut the healthcare coverage of of any UAW worker on strike is just one of its latest scare tactics to prevent workers from exercising their basic human rights: demanding better pay. It is our right to protest and this problem is bigger than GM. Those workers on strike are only being paid $250 a week. No one person can live off $250 dollars a week let alone someone with a family. Stand with UAW workers in Michigan and demand that the Vice President of General Motors North America Labor Relations Scott Sandefur support the workers that supported GM during the bail out by providing healthcare coverage! Sign the petition today!
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    Created by Latiana Fisher
  • Police Accountability Monitoring Program & Enforcement Reform (PAMPER)
    COPWATCH AMERICA INCORPORATED HAS A PRIMARY GOAL TO MINIMIZE & ELIMINATE UNJUSTIFIED DEATHS DUE TO ILLEGAL ACTIONS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IN AMERICA AGAINST CIVILIANS. COPWATCH AMERICA INCORPORATED USES UNITED STATES/STATE LAWS, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, CIVILIAN COMPLIANT REVIEW COMMITTEES, POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY MONITORING PROGRAMS, AND OTHER FORMS OF RESOURCES & ACTIONS TO ESTABLISH TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY IN EACH AND EVERY LAW ENFORCEMENT DEPARTMENT/AGENCY IN AMERICA.
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    Created by CopWatch America Inc. Picture
  • Protect Our Privacy! No More Surveillance for People in Michigan!
    The right to privacy and due process under the law belongs to everyone. Residents, technologists, organizers, activists, artists, educators and legislators are learning the implications of police use of facial recognition technologies. Inaccuracies in the technology for darker skin tones, women, and children place many Americans at risk of having their civil and human rights violated. This is a particularly troubling situation for Detroit, where the population is over 80% Black. This would be the largest experiment on Black people in the United States, in modern times. We don't deserve a justice system regulated by faulty algorithms. We don't deserve a justice system that relies on profiling, and we can’t trust a technology that has proven time and time again that it cannot be trusted. Facial surveillance technology does not keep us safe, in fact it does the opposite. Please support Senator (R) Peter Lucido's Senate Bill 342 (SB342), co-sponsored by Senator (D) Stephanie Gray Chang. The legislation would prohibit law enforcement officials from obtaining, accessing or using any facial recognition technology, along with any information gathered from such technology. Any information obtained in violation of the law would be inadmissible in court “as if the evidence, arrest warrant, or search warrant was obtained in violation of Amendment IV of the Constitution of the United States and section 11 of Article I of the state constitution of 1963.” In effect, the passage of SB342 would impose a total ban on the use of facial recognition technology by Michigan law enforcement. State Rep (D) Isaac Robinson's House Bill 4810, which would create a five-year moratorium on the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement. HB 4810 will also prevent the use of facial recognition software to obtain warrants or otherwise enforce the law. The prohibition includes footage obtained from surveillance cameras, unmanned aircraft, body cameras, and street and traffic light cameras. The bill was co-sponsored by state Reps. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) and Jewell Jones(D-Inkster). Recently, the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners tabled a vote on the use of facial recognition technology to monitor city neighborhoods but approved the use of traffic cameras with the capacity to use the technology. Detroit Police Chief Craig recently admitted to using the technology under a standard operating procedure, through their Project Green Light Program for over a year. Until recently, there had been no public discourse around DPD's use of facial recognition technology. The Detroit Police Board of Commissioners is expected to approve the use of the technology despite public opposition. Serious concerns exist regarding the use of facial recognition technology as it has been shown to misidentify African-American faces, darker skin tones, women and children. It’s time for Michigan to show the world that we respect, and will protect our right to privacy and due process under the law. Urge your legislators to support SB342 and House Bill 4810 BYP100 - Detroit Chapter Black Out Green Light Coalition Detroit Community Technology Project Detroit Digital Justice Coalition Detroit Coalition for Peace
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  • Paint down Washington High School's racist mural!
    Sign now to stand with the Black and Native youth & families who are working to take down the racist "Life of Washington" mural at the SFUSD high school at 600 32nd Ave. in the “Richmond District”, which is on unceded Ramaytush Ohlone Territory. The large-scale painting at this school depicts George Washington standing over the bodies of dead Indigenous people, it depicts Black people as enslaved and docile, and it is a symbol of white supremacy that Black and Native students are forced to walk past every day. It is a, it is a constant reminder that the institution, that is supposed to care for and educate Black and Native youth, them glorifies the genocide, colonization and enslavement of their people. Over three years ago, Amy and Kai Anderson, parent and student at the school that contains the murals, reignited the “Take It Down” campaign. It first started in 1968, with the school's Black Student Union and the SF Black Panther Party demanding that the district remove the racist murals. During that time, in protest, ink was thrown upon the fresco murals and can be seen there to this day. For the past few years, the American Indian PAC listed the removal of these murals as one of their top priorities. As a result the district established a “Reflection and Action Committee” to decide how, not if, the murals were to come down. The committee met and studied the issue for months and voted to have the murals digitally archived and painted over before the first day of school in the fall of 2019. San Francisco’s diverse school board courageously listened to Black and Native students and believed them when they testified about the trauma these murals create for them. The board voted unanimously to follow the committee’s recommendations and paint down the mural (or cover it with panels if it takes more than 3 years to paint down). We are so proud that our school board centered directly impacted student’s voices and voted to “Paint It Down” & give youth a clean slate. However, the work of giving students a clean slate is just beginning. The Washington Alumni Association has vowed to file lawsuits and use ballot initiatives to try to overturn and silence the decisions of youth, families and electeds of color. White nationalist publications like Breitbart have bashed the decision, using the same logic being used to preserve Confederate statues and symbols across the nation. The opposition is hoping that by pushing the School Board to put wooden panels over the mural instead of destroying it, they can one day remove the panels altogether so that things remain exactly the way they are now. We call on the San Francisco School Board to show up for Black and Native youth, to tell them that we hear their voices, we believe them, and we’ll continue to show up for them until we get the clean slate they deserve. Sign this petition to let the board know that you pledge to work with these youth and their families, to show up online or in person as needed, and to lift up and amplify their voices until they get the clean slate they are demanding and that they deserve.
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  • #BlackSchoolsMatter: Save Our Schools
    Raines and Ribault, two of Jacksonville’s oldest, predominantly Black high schools, are under threat now that the Duval County School Board is considering a consolidation plan for nearly 42 schools in its districts. After years of neglect and deterioration, at least 56 of Duval County’s school buildings have been rated ‘below average’ and are in badly need of repairs on a tight budget. The School Board’s solution? To potentially eliminate and consolidate two schools whose rich histories have deeply shaped Jacksonville’s culture and legacy. At an initial meeting to discuss a master facilities plan for the schools moving forward, parents were handed proposals developed by an external consulting entity that included no input from them whatsoever. And although the Board claims that it is taking the residents’ feedback into consideration moving forward, they have yet to present a plan for ensuring that the community’s approval is embedded into the decision-making around a proposal that has the potential to reshape the landscape of Jacksonville and its community forever. Raines, which was built as a result of the historic Brown v Education decision that would formally end racial segregation in education, is a testament to Black people’s commitment to providing opportunities for their children that they themselves were once barred access from. Ribault’s history is different but intertwined with that of Raines’ -- originally built to cater to the “whites-only” population of northwest Jacksonville, it quickly became predominantly Black during the 70’s as white people left the area en masse to live in the suburbs. In the meantime, both schools developed reputations as athletic powerhouses and built a formidable rivalry -- one that has brought the Black community of Jacksonville together to build traditions through games, sporting events, and tailgates for generations. Now, those traditions are at risk of disappearing with no guarantee that what will be built in its place will actually work for the communities it seeks to serve. Studies show that school closures hit Black students the hardest, and that those students rarely end up benefiting academically from their new schools. They are the most likely to be displaced, and the least likely to receive a better education for it. The lack of input from parents and alumnae for a proposal that will deeply affect their children’s opportunities and prospects is yet another reflection of the larger cycle of disinvestment from Black communities that these school closures and consolidations represent. We know that nothing that is built without us can be for us. We must protect the legacy of the community and traditions our schools have built in Jacksonville. We must defend the sanctity of our children’s futures and safety. Sign now to demand that Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene and the Duval County School board release an official plan for ensuring community input is not only a part of the Board’s considerations, but is tied to its final decision-making process. Give parents and alumnae the final say. Take action now to save our schools!
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    Created by Friends of Northwest Jacksonville Schools Friends of Northwest Jacksonville Schools
  • #DontMuteDC
    Small business owner, Donald Campbell, has been playing go-go music - a musical form that owes its development to D.C.’s native, Black, cultural traditions - from his Metro PCS storefront in Shaw for nearly 24 years. However, after residents of a new, neighboring, high-rise condominium made complaints last month, T-Mobile ordered Donald to stop playing the music that has so defined the city’s rich history. Anyone who is familiar with Shaw is familiar with Donald’s music, which he plays during business hours and which, by his storefront commissioner’s own admission, does not violate local sound regulations. Yet, despite the fact that generations of residents and students have grown up gathering on his block to listen and to commune, T-Mobile has insisted that he “get rid of the music” or lose his livelihood. Black cultural norms and traditions are under attack in large, metropolitan cities like Washington D.C., where rates of gentrification and displacement are skyrocketing. As the cost of rent shoots up in neighborhoods like Donald’s, many residents and local store owners are being forced out of the only place they have ever known and criminalized for participating in the very cultural practices that they have inherited. And as more and more people move away, lose their businesses, and even, in many cases, their places of shelter, actions like T-mobile’s underscore a larger message to long-time Black residents of the neighborhood: you are no longer welcome in your own home. This is unacceptable. Members of the local Advisory Neighborhood Committee say that in the long history of his business’s operation, Donald’s music has never been a problem. But a few complaints from wealthier residents who are new to Shaw and to its traditions have been enough for T-Mobile to threaten the cultural integrity of a community that Donald’s music has always brought together. We demand that T-Mobile put an end to their criminalization of Black culture and art in Washington D.C. We demand that T-Mobile allow Donald to bring his music back!
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    Created by Jamal Jones
  • Calling for the Removal/Resignation of sitting U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi
    Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith's comments on November 2nd, 2018, regarding her willingness to sit “on the front row” at a “public hanging” if invited are not only deeply offensive, they provide further evidence of her blatant disregard for her oath to uphold the Constitution. Senator Hyde-Smith’s failure to stand up to the injustice of hanging deaths in the past and her approval of such violence presently, should bar her from serving as a U.S. Senator or in any government position in the state of Mississippi. She has refused to acknowledge the insensitive and deeply offensive nature of her remarks. A leader who cannot thoughtfully reflect on her actions and their potential harm is unfit to lead.
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    Created by #MississippiMatters - Concerned Citizens & Friends of Mississippi Picture