• COVID-19: Los Angeles Must Immediately Release People from the County Jails!
    We are not alone in recognizing this crisis of criminalization and incarceration here in Los Angeles and how COVID19 will exacerbate that crisis. Last week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the recommendations outlined in the Alternatives to Incarceration Working Group’s historic and unprecedented report, “Care First, Jails Last: Health and Racial Justice Strategies for Safer Communities.” Shortly thereafter, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas published a letter outlining his concerns about COVID19’s spreads to the LA jails and calling for a reduction in jail bookings, early release, plans for quarantine and treatment, concerted efforts to reduce virus transmission and a plan for expected staffing shortages. We are also not alone in calling for significant and timely steps towards decarceration. On Saturday, March 14, Judges from the Cleveland, Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Court announced their intention to seek the release of hundreds of people incarcerated in their county jails. Like us, these judges recognize that jails pose threats to our larger community and the incarcerated people themselves. On Tuesday, March 17, the New York City Board of Corrections, the independent oversight Board for the city’s jail system, issued a call for incarcerated people at high risk to be immediately released and for the overall jail population to be rapidly and drastically reduced. Also on Tuesday, March 17, thirty one elected prosecutors from around the country, but not from Los Angeles, published a letter advocating that counties “implement concrete steps in the near-term to dramatically reduce the number of incarcerated individuals” to prevent the potentially “catastrophic” spread of COVID19. We also join epidemiologists in warning that it is not a matter of if COVID19 enters your facility -- but when. For these reasons, we demand that you, as correctional health care leaders, do your part. We ask that you: 1) Prepare a list of your incarcerated patients who are most medically vulnerable and who require immediate release. We demand that you prepare that list within one week, notify the public that the list has been made available to correctional authorities, the courts and city/state leaders, and advocate for their early release with linkages to housing and healthcare services. 2) Use the legal authority granted to you to declare COVDI19 a liable danger to those currently held in the county jails and advocate for their immediate release to safe and meaningful housing. 3) Identify, coordinate and provide the services incarcerated people need upon their release (e.g. HIV care for those who are HIV+, substance use treatment centers for those with substance use disorders, homes and shelters for those who are houseless, etc) to ensure their ongoing protection from this epidemic. The County should use the recently approved recommendations from the Alternatives to Incarceration Working Group to build infrastructure that addresses and also outlives this emergency to achieve our shared goal of reducing the jail population.
    1,544 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Mark-Anthony Clayton-Johnson
  • Tell Governor Parson to implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions in Missouri now!
    Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now officially classified as a pandemic and the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Director has stated, “it’s going to get worse''. Across media outlets, the prevailing safety precautions include “wash your hands" and “stay home”. However, residents in this state are not guaranteed to have access to these basic necessities. Water shut-offs, evictions and homelessness significantly worsen the threat posed by COVID-19. If more residents are evicted during this period, COVID-19 could start to spread more rapidly among those who become homeless. We cannot afford to have more emergencies on top of the current emergency. We urge Governor Mike Parson to follow the lead of Detroit and San Jose - to stand with your constituents, to stop preventable illness and displacements and implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions, utility shut offs, and job layoffs in the state of Missouri.
    1,077 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Schnell Carraway
  • Tell Governor Abbott to implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions in Texas now!
    Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now officially classified as a pandemic and the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Director has stated, “it’s going to get worse''. Across media outlets, the prevailing safety precautions include “wash your hands" and “stay home”. However, residents in this state are not guaranteed to have access to these basic necessities. Water shut-offs, evictions and homelessness significantly worsen the threat posed by COVID-19. If more residents are evicted during this period, COVID-19 could start to spread more rapidly among those who become homeless. We cannot afford to have more emergencies on top of the current emergency. We urge Governor Greg Abbott to follow the lead of Detroit and San Jose - to stand with your constituents, to stop preventable illness and displacements and implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions, utility shut offs, and job layoffs in the state of Texas.
    2,865 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Joel Jackson
  • Tell Governor Edwards to implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions in Louisiana now!
    Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now officially classified as a pandemic and the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Director has stated, “it’s going to get worse''. Across media outlets, the prevailing safety precautions include “wash your hands" and “stay home”. However, residents in this state are not guaranteed to have access to these basic necessities. Water shut-offs, evictions and homelessness significantly worsen the threat posed by COVID-19. If more residents are evicted during this period, COVID-19 could start to spread more rapidly among those who become homeless. We cannot afford to have more emergencies on top of the current emergency. We urge Governor John Bel Edwards to follow the lead of Detroit and San Jose - to stand with your constituents, to stop preventable illness and displacements and implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions, utility shut offs, and job layoffs in the state of Louisiana.
    1,697 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Aireca Anderson
  • Tell Governor Tom Wolf to implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions in Pennsylvania!
    Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now officially classified as a pandemic and the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Director has stated, “it’s going to get worse''. Across media outlets, the prevailing safety precautions include “wash your hands" and “stay home”. However, residents in this state are not guaranteed to have access to these basic necessities. Water shut-offs, evictions and homelessness significantly worsen the threat posed by COVID-19. If more residents are evicted during this period, COVID-19 could start to spread more rapidly among those who become homeless. We cannot afford to have more emergencies on top of the current emergency. We urge Governor Tom Wolf to follow the lead of Detroit and San Jose - to stand with your constituents, to stop preventable illness and displacements and implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions, utility shut offs, and job layoffs in the state of Pennsylvania.
    31,172 of 35,000 Signatures
    Created by Salaah Muhammad
  • 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.
    16,054 of 20,000 Signatures
    Created by Jorge Anderson El
  • #RestorePottstown: Preserve our Homes, Culture and History!
    Pottstown, a 110 year old rural, historically Black working class is located two blocks from the original slave quarters in Huntersville, NC. Two multi-million dollar corporations, Bowman Development Group and Griffin Brothers C & D Reclamation, have made their fortunes exploiting the land and community members of Pottstown. The community has had enough! We are calling both corporations to divest from harmful practices and invest in a historic landmark. Forty years ago, the Griffin family (of Griffin Brothers C & D Reclaimation) began operating a demolition landfill where over 200 dump trucks travel through our small Black community. The name has changed, but the company's impact has remained the same. In 2017, the Huntersville Town Board approved the Griffin Brothers' request for a 40-year extension that will end in 2057. Residents along Holbrooks Road are subjected to fumes from the trucks and the harmful chemicals used within the neighboring reclamation center. In 2000, in an attempt to quiet the grievances of residents living on Holbrooks Road, the Griffin Brothers created a community HOA, the Holbrooks Road Association, in order to provide annual stipends to .prevent further resident complaints and investigations. Developer and Partner of the Bowman Development Corp., Don Bowman, created a “new urbanism development” that gentrified a historic community by laying his most recent project's foundation along the streets that once ran through the heart of our rural community. His new development, -- Vermillion/Valencia, a 27 acre village -- was created at the expense of hundreds of rural Pottstown homes, as his quick property grab left countless families with nowhere to go. Pottstown residents adjacent to these newly developed urban homes are concerned that the rise of urbanism will irrevocably alter the culture of their hometown and push them out of their homes. Pottstown and most of its families have suffered from the effects of both companies who earn millions of dollar each year from the exploitation of a historic community. The profits of these businesses will allow company owners' children to benefit financially from their exploitative practices. But what about OUR children? Bowman Development Corp. and Griffin Brothers C & D Reclamation have made our community a “commodity” in which to profit from. The majority of Pottstown residents have not received any compensation from the harmful effects of the companies actions. We community of Pottstown deserve to thrive as these companies do! We are calling on Bowman Development Corp. and Griffin Brothers C & D Reclamation to invest Pottstown, not destroy it. The needs of our community are significant and we are calling on these companies to be good neighbors! We are calling on Bowman Development Corp. and Griffin Brothers C & D Reclamation to make an investment in the existing community's culture and pride. We are calling Bowman Development Corp. and Griffin Brothers C & D Reclamation to provide the necessary funds to renovate our historic Torrence-Lytle High School. This small investment would demonstrate goodwill and prove to community members that they value our beloved Pottstown. The community of Pottstown is asking YOU to support our demand for an investment in our community's rich culture with the corporate-funded restoration of Torrence-Lytle High School and affordable housing options for displaced familes.
    4 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Betty "Bee Jay" Caldwell
  • We Demand All Gender Restrooms at UDC
    On Tuesday, August 27, 2019 around 2:00pm, a member of the UDC community threatened our sense of safety by vandalizing the only community gender neutral bathroom on our campus. On the A level of Building 44, adjacent to the Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Affairs, a sheet of paper intentionally obscured half of the gender neutral and accessibility restroom signage. This is a hate crime and a direct violation of Title IX. As the first LGBTQ+ student organization at the University of the District of Columbia and part of only 30% of HBCUs that have active LGBTQ+ student organizations, we The Alliance Group (T.A.G) are requesting a meeting with UDC leadership on addressing this incident and we have created a list of demands. Hate crimes targeting LGBTQ+ and Non-binary people have increased since President Donald Trump was elected in 2016. Additionally, 16 Transwomen have been murdered so far this year and all but one have been women of color. Washington D.C has the highest number of openly LGBTQ people in the nation and as the only urban, public Historically Black College in the nation, we believe we cannot sit by when incidents like this happen on our campus. We are asking for your support by signing this petition and sharing it with others. Real change happens when everyday people like you and I come together and stand up for what we believe in. Together we can reach heaps of people and help create change around this important issue of homophobia and transphobia. UPDATE: As we were preparing to send this letter, at 12pm on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, our community has been attacked again; another vandalization occurred at the same bathroom in building 44. This requires outrage and action on our leadership's behalf immediately With Love and Support, The Alliance Group (T.A.G)
    128 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Breanna Champion
  • Layleen Polanco: Enough is Enough Close Rikers NOW, No New Jails
    Dear Mayor Bill de Blasio, Layleen Polanco Xtravaganza, an Afro-Latina trans woman, died in solitary confinement. This PRIDE month I am saying enough. Layleen should not have been arrested by the NYPD. Even before her arrest as part of a predatory NYPD sting operation, she was struggling with homelessness. From there she was routed through every possible "progressive" criminal court and jail reform project: from a sex work "diversion" court to the Transgender Housing Unit in the Rose M. Singer Center on Rikers when a warrant was issued for her arrest after she missed a "supportive" service appointment. None of these "progressive" reforms that were designed to save her life worked. Layleen died in a cage on solitary after being criminalized for being trans, for being poor, and for engaging in sex work. Jails kill people. But now you are planning on keeping Rikers open until 2026, when the next mayor can keep the jails open indefinitely, after having spent $11 billion to build four new jails! We could close Rikers now without building a single new cage in NYC if we ended the unjust and dangerous practice of pretrial detention. Then, we could devote $11 billion to communities, not incarceration. The time is now. We must Close Rikers with No New Jails. Mayor De Blasio, we call on you to stop your jail plan and commit to closing Rikers with no new jails. I want $11 billion for Black trans women and all oppressed and criminalized communities, not for jails. Art Credit: Vienna Rye (@vrye)
    1,236 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by No New Jails
  • Stop Los Angeles From Building a $4 Billion Mental Health Jail
    The #JusticeLA campaign, a broad coalition made up of local and national stakeholders and community members and born from the work of family members in Los Angeles who have had loved ones harmed and killed by the Los Angeles jail system has been struggling with the Board of Supervisors on their dissonant plan to invest at least $4 billion dollars into jail expansion in Los Angeles County for almost a decade. The #JusticeLA campaign is partnering with health workers from across the spectrum of service and health advocacy to demand the long overdue end to caging as a response to public health issues. Jails and all forms of incarceration are bad for human health. Achieving humane, high quality and accessible health care for the roughly 170,000 people who are incarcerated every year in Los Angeles, the largest jail system in the world, is an urgent task, specifically because jails and other forms of incarceration are not health care institutions. On the contrary, jails are fundamentally harmful to human health. Understanding people inside primarily as criminals, not patients, jails isolate people from their families and communities, deprive people of control and agency over their bodies, subject people to unsafe environments and cause long-lasting trauma. Recent scholarship has outlined many of these harms on incarcerated people and their communities, showing, for example, how incarceration worsens mental health disabilities (Schnittker 2015) and shortens lives (Nosrati et al 2017). The previously approved $4 billion jail plan poses a significant and urgent threat to the health of those most criminalized, including Black and Latinx people across Los Angeles. The county is already home to the largest mental health facility in the country, Twin Towers jail. Eighty percent of the current jail system population is either Black or Latinx and an alarming 70% of the current jail population reports having a serious medical, mental health disability, or substance use condition. Over one thousand people per year die in local jails across the country. Half of all deaths of people incarcerated in local jails are the result of some type of illness including heart disease, liver disease, and cancer. As the largest jails system in the world, the Los Angeles County jail system contributes to all of these trends as reported by incarcerated people, their families, and by health workers themselves who provide services in the jails and as loved ones return home. Expansion of the function, scope, geography, or size of the current jail system will continue to result in both the reproduction of these harmful trends and/or the reliance of law enforcement contact and justice system involvement for what has historically proven to be inadequate and harmful “treatment.” Negative health outcomes in jails disproportionately affect marginalized communities. For example, roughly one out of every three deaths of Black people in local jails is the result of a heart attack which could be prevented in community-based treatment. While Black people make up less than 9% of the Los Angeles County population, Black people constitute 30% of the County jail population and 43% of those incarcerated with a serious mental health disability. Additionally, 75% of incarcerated women in Los Angeles are women of color. In the seven-year period between 2010 and 2016, Black women were sentenced to 5,481 years of jail time for charges that can be solved using public health strategies that build our communities rather than law enforcement which often undermine them. The construction of a women’s jail will exacerbate these trends and other negative health outcomes as incarcerated women of color will be further isolated from their families and communities. On Febraury 12th, The County has a historic opportunity to break away from the public health crisis of criminalization and incarceration by stopping this jail construction plan and diverting resources towards community-based alternatives that prioritize the dignity and wellbeing of our families and loved ones throughout Los Angeles.
    4,649 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by James Nelson, #JusticeLA
  • Stop Children from Dying During Divorce and Custody Proceedings
    A mother who is a veteran had to return home from Iraq and fight the battle for her children. The children were taken from her safe and sustainable home, and 50/50 custody order. The mother was falsely arrested. The charges where dismissed but the ramification lingered. Nine years later the mother and her children have no relationship. The children were forced to live full-time with their abusive father leaving them vulnerable to mental, physical and emotional abuse at critical developmental stages in there lives. The court's decision has traumatized the mother and placed the children in danger. As of September 24, 2018, at least 657 children have been murdered by a parent involved in a divorce, separation, custody, visitation, or child support situation in the U.S. since 2008. Abusive parents are often granted custody or unprotected parenting time by family courts—placing our nation’s children at ongoing risk. Researchers who interviewed judges and court administrators following some of these tragedies found that most believed these were isolated incidents. Needed reforms have not been implemented. Many court-related child homicides occurred after family courts granted dangerous parents access to children over the objections of a protective parent. We recognize that the women's right's movement is still a work in progress. Marginalized women face multiple oppressions, and we can only win freedom by bringing awareness on how they impact one another. The women of color need a national movement to uplift the needs of the most marginalized women and children. As women of color we need to stand for our human rights to parent the children we have in a safe and sustainable community.
    451 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Mother's Standing For Children Picture
  • Mayor Jacob Frey, Don't Auction Off Our Homes to the Highest Bidder! Stop Section 18 and RAD
    1. The Median Income for majority-white families for the Twin Cities region including Minneapolis and St. Paul is $100,000 per year in 2019. 2. The median income for black Minnesotan households is just $33,436 per year in 2019 3. The average (MPHA) public housing residents, a family of four, working households earn $20,656 per year, and can only afford a rent of $512 a month at 30% of their monthly income. 4. The average low-income( MPHA) public housing residents earn $14,201 per year, and can only afford the rent of $355 a month at 30% of their monthly income. 5. Seniors public housing residents on social security income earn $9,000 per year, which is only $750 a month, and can only afford a rent of $225 a month at 30% of their monthly income. 6. Black and low- income families can't make enough to keep up with rising rents, and they will be forced out of Minneapolis. 7. Average rent for a 2 bedroom in Minneapolis = $1,984 8. According to MPHA's 2018 report, there are 17,346 households on MPHA’s waiting lists. This number increases every year. Out of this number, 7,627 households are on the single Public Housing/Elderly and Disabled list (for single-member households like Elliot Twins), 9,195 households are on the Public Housing Family list like Glendale Townhomes, and 524 households are on the Housing Choice Vouchers (aka Section 8 Vouchers) list. The wait list is between 5 to 7 years. If MPHA and Mayor Frey plans succeed to push Trump and Carson agenda to dismantle public housing in Minneapolis the current housing crisis will intensity 10 fold. There will be no protection for the most vulnerable population of our city. Rents will increase. Investors will make millions. Residents will be displaced during the conversion process, and they will not be allowed to come back. Thousands of residents will face homelessness, financial and emotional crisis. Private investors will convert the buildings for high-end rentals for wealthier people and receive tax credits to do it. The buildings will no longer be public and they can go up for sale or face foreclosure after the conversion. Families shouldn't be forced to pick between a roof over their children's heads and food on the table for their children. Between 2000 to 2018, the average income for Black Families in Minneapolis dropped by 40% while rents doubled. The vast majority of renters in Minneapolis are people of color, and 80% of public housing residents are Black. By age, the majority of public housing residents are seniors and children under 17. There are over 11,000 low-income Black, Black Muslim, refugee, senior, people with disabilities who will be forced out of their homes if Mayor Jacob Frey and MPHA’s plans to privatize and auction public housing through Section 18 Demolition and Disposition and RAD are approved by Carson and Trump. We can’t let that happen. Privatizing public housing will deepen the racial and class divides already challenging Minneapolis. Flipping public housing into RAD and Section 18 Demolition and Disposition which will be privately owned which will then flip to high-end market-rate units hurts low-income families, but all Minneapolis families will feel the pain of less available public housing which is income-based housing which is the real affordable housing option. The private sector shouldn’t use our tax dollars to pad their pockets with profit. Private business and corporations always put profit over people. Private developers want to get their hands on public and low- income rental units and price them to make a windfall off wealthy families and incoming gentrifiers. The most vulnerable among us in Minneapolis – the elderly, poor, people with disabilities, low-income families -- will be displaced. Flooding our housing market with high-end market-rate units will fuel gentrification, push out residents and turn Minneapolis into a city catering to the rich. Keeping public housing under public control means that people come first! Resources: https://metrocouncil.org/Communities/Services/Livable-Communities-Grants/2017-Ownership-and-Rent-Affordability-Limits.aspx https://www.hud.gov/topics/rental_assistance/phprog Rental Market Watch: Minneapolis. March 2018. Minnesota Housing Partnership. https://www.mhponline.org/images/stories/docs/research/NOAH-MPLS-final.pdf http://www.startribune.com/how-much-is-rent-for-a-2-bedroom-in-twin-cities-check-out-the-rent-chart/414996293/ https://www.dgphc.org/2018/05/10/ami-housing-deeply-unaffordable-for-low-income-families-part-2/ https://www.facebook.com/DefendGlendale/photos/a.529919710507224/1352510281581492/?type=3&theater. ( waitlist data) https://www.dgphc.org/2019/07/10/section-18-demolition-disposition-a-fact-sheet/
    18,585 of 20,000 Signatures
    Created by Defend Glendale & Public Housing Coalition Picture