Domestic (In)justice Activism Opportunities

  • THE MIDTERMS MINUTE: Support Progressive Primary Candidates: Hawaii (8/11) & Minnesota (and WI, CT & VT) (8/14)

    And now for our new segment, The Midterms Minute: a look at the candidates and races that you need to know about, shout about and support to make sure we have a blue tsunami on November 6th. (Quick links at bottom of the page.)

    Whether it’s canvassing in your state, calling voters in another state or donating to progressive campaigns in the final weeks before primaries, you can make a difference.

    AUGUST 11TH: HAWAII 

    1st District: Hawaii’s primary election will take place August 11th. The state’s 1st district is facing a crowded field of candidates. But there is only one candidate fighting for a truly progressive vision and that’s Kaniela Ing, whose endorsements include Justice Democrats, The Working Families Party and 350 Action. In this heavily blue district, whoever wins the primary will very likely go to Washington.

    2nd District: In Hawaii’s 2nd district, veteran and Bernie Sanders supporter Tulsi Gabbard is up for reelection. She’s facing two primary challengers - one of whom is criticizing Gabbard’s focus on peace and anti-interventionalism. Yup, you heard that right.

    Important Dates: If you’re a Hawaiian resident, you must have been registered online by Thursday, July 12th to vote in the primaries. But if you missed this deadline, voters are eligible for late registration at either an early walk-in voting location or an election day polling place. Absentee ballot requests must be made by August 4th. For the general, the online registration deadline is October 9th.

    AUGUST 14THMINNESOTA (and Wisconsin, Connecticut & Vermont)

    After Hawaii, a slew of Democratic primaries will be held on August 14th in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Vermont and South Dakota. Today, we’re focusing on Minnesota.

    5th District: Minnesota is facing electoral musical chairs in November. House Rep and DNC Deputy Chair, Keith Ellison, has decided to run for State Attorney General this year and five candidates are running for his seat in Minnesota’s 5th district. Of the group, Somali refugee and former State Rep. Ilhan Omar has been endorsed by Our Revolution Twin Cities, MoveOn, and more. She is running on a progressive platform that includes $15 federal minimum wage and abolishing ICE.

    8th District: Meanwhile, a hotly contested primary is brewing in Minnesota’s 8th district, which flipped from supporting Obama by 6 points to supporting Trump by 15. Former news anchor, Michelle Lee, is running on a progressive platform that includes Medicare for All and reversing Citizens United. She is also speaking out against a proposed copper nickel sulfide mining project that would pose great risk to the Lake Superior Watershed and communities.

    U.S. Senate: Minnesota’s primaries will also include selecting a nominee for Al Franken’s Senate seat. Voters are choosing between former Bush ethics lawyer Richard Painter and former Minnesota Lieutenant Governor, Tina Smith. Painter recently left the GOP and and was endorsed by Our Revolution Minnesota, perhaps because he supports Medicare for All. His campaign is primarily based on impeaching Trump. Smith has been mostly ignoring Painters candidacy and has been endorsed by Keith Ellison, NRDC, SEIU Minnesota, and more.

    Governor: Finally, the Minnesota gubernatorial race is critical. As with every race for governor, the national importance is that whoever holds the office will be involved in the state’s redistricting process following the 2020 Census. Former nurse and long-time State Rep., Erin Murphy, has been endorsed by Our Revolution Minnesota, NARAL, and the state Democratic Party’s Disability Caucus.

    Important Dates: If you’re a Minnesota resident, you can register online by July 24th to vote in the primaries. Minnesota also offers same day registration and voting up through primary day, but earlier is always better. The deadline for online registration for the general is October 16th.

    We want to emphasize registration cut off dates and absentee ballot request and submission dates are different for each state, sometimes even each county. We highly suggest reviewing your state’s information, and voter ID laws, at rockthevote.org as soon as possible to ensure you will be able to vote in both the primary and general elections.

    So, if building the bluest of blue waves is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about supporting progressive candidates across the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

     

    THE MIDTERMS MINUTE

    Check on candidates endorsed by Justice Democrats | Brand New Congress | DSA | Latino Victory | Our Revolution

    Check your state registration deadlines and voter ID laws with rockthevote.org

    For an easy way to donate to candidates, check out DownTicket.com on your mobile browser.

    August 11th Primary:

    Hawaii (Reg. Deadlines - Primaries: Online: July 12th, In person: Until August 11th / General: Oct. 9th)

    U.S. House - 1st District: Kaniela Ing 

    U.S. House - 2nd District: Tulsi Gabbard (Incumbent)

    August 14th Primaries:

    Minnesota (Reg. Deadlines - Primaries: Online: July 24th, In person: Until August 14th / General: Oct. 9th)

    U.S. House - 5th District: Ilhan Omar 

    U.S. House - 8th District: Michelle Lee 

    U.S. Senate (Dem. Primary for Nov. Special Election) - Tina Smith 

    Governor (Dem. Primary) - Erin Murphy 

    Due to time, the following states will be featured in depth on a future episode:

    Wisconsin (Reg. Deadlines - Primaries: Post-marked by July 25th, In person Aug. 10th / General: Post-marked by Oct 17th, In-person: Nov. 2nd)

    Connecticut (Reg. Deadlines - Primaries: Online & mail-in: Received by Aug. 9th / General: Oct. 30th)

    Vermont  (Reg. Deadlines - Primaries: Aug. 14th / General: Nov. 6th)

    Correction: South Dakota was originally listed in the segment, but 8/14 is actually the runoff date. There will not be runoffs. 

     

    Posted July 13, 2018; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1196: Building a media that support rather than undermines democracy

     

  • THE MIDTERMS MINUTE: Support Progressive Primary Candidates in TN (8.2) & KS, MO, MI, WA, OH (8.7)

    MIDTERMS_MINUTE_IMAGE_FINAL.png"The Midterms Minute" is a look at the candidates and races that you need to know about, shout about and support to make sure we have a blue tsunami on November 6th. 

    Primary season is in full swing. Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knocking out Democrat Joe Crowley in New York last month, was the primary victory heard round the world. And we are going to need more progressive wins like that to solidify the message that real reform is finally here.

    AUGUST 2ND: 

    TENNESSEE 

    Tennessee’s Democratic Primaries take place August 2nd. In Tennessee’s 2nd district, Brand New Congress has endorsed Marc Whitmire, a former veteran and small business owner, for Congress. And in Tennessee’s 3rd district, Dr. Danielle Mitchell, a family physician, has also been endorsed by Brand New Congress. In the Senate race, former Tennessee governor and moderate Democrat Phill Bredesen is already leading in polls against rabid Trump Republican Marsha Blackburn in the race for Bob Corker’s Senate seat. Unfortunately, Bredesen was not primaried, so progressives will have to hold their noses in the general. If you’re a Tennessee resident and you were registered to vote by July 3rd, you can vote in the primaries. If you missed this cut off, be sure to get registered before October 9th to be able to vote in the general election.

    After Tennessee, the next slew of Democratic primaries will be held on August 7th in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Washington state.

    AUGUST 7TH:

    KANSAS 

    In Kansas’ 3rd District, labor lawyer Brent Welder has received endorsements from every progressive organization, including Congressional Progressive Caucus. He previously worked on Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign and is running on a platform of a $15 minimum wage and Medicare for All. In Kansas’ 4th district, civil rights lawyer James Thompson is running for Congress and has received the same progressive endorsements as Welder. If he wins his primary, Thompson will run against a vulnerable incumbent backed by the Koch brothers. If you’re a resident of Kansas, you need to be registered by July 17th to vote in the primaries and by October 16th to vote in the general.

    MISSOURI 

    In Missouri’s 1st district, Cori Bush, a former teacher, registered nurse, and pastor, is running for congress against a long time Democratic incumbent. She’s recently been the victim of vicious, sexist trolling and is not having any of it. She’s endorsed by Brand New Congress, Justice Democrats, and others. It’s also worth noting that moderate Democratic Senator Clair McCaskill is facing a hell of a fight to retain her seat in the general. Although she is no favorite of progressives, the left can’t afford to lose her seat. Another nose holding situation for November. If you are a Missouri resident, your voter registration must be complete or post marked no later than July 11th to vote in the primary, and October 10th to vote in the general.

    MICHIGAN & WASHINGTON 

    Michigan and Washington state are chalk full of progressive candidates endorsed by progressive issue organizations. Instead of listing them all today, I encourage you to go to Justice Democrats dot com and Brand New Congress dot org and click on the respective “Candidates” tabs to see their endorsements. Make particular note of the governor’s race in Michigan, where Justice Democrat Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a Rhodes scholar, physician and former health commissioner of Detroit is gaining media attention. You must be registered to vote by July 9th to vote in the Michigan and Washington primaries.

    OHIO 

    And finally, Ohio is having a special election for their 12th district congressional seat that has been empty since January. The winner could hold the seat for just 5 months, depending on the general, but those months will matter. Danny O’Connor is the Democrat in this race. He doesn’t have the far left endorsements, but he does have Democratic Progressives of Ohio, Planned Parenthood and the regional SEIU. And that’s gonna have to be good enough because Trump won this district. If you’re a Ohio resident of district 12, you must be registered to vote by July 9th to vote in this special election. Early voting starts on July 10th and absentee ballots much be post marked by August 6th and received by the 17th.

    We want to emphasize registration cut off dates and absentee ballot request and submission dates are different for each state, sometimes even each county. We highly suggest reviewing your state’s information, and voter ID laws, at rockthevote.org as soon as possible to ensure you will be able to vote in both the primary and general elections.

    So, if building the bluest of blue waves is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Supporting Progressive Candidates around the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

     

    THE MIDTERMS MINUTE:

    Check on candidates endorsed by Justice Democrats | Brand New Congress | DSA | Latino Victory | Our Revolution

    Check your state deadlines and voter ID laws with rockthevote.org

    August 2nd Primaries:

    Tennessee (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries: July 3rd/ General: Oct. 9th)

    U.S. House - 2nd District: Marc Whitmire 

    U.S. House - 3rd District: Dr. Danielle Mitchell

    Heads Up! General Nov. 6th: (Senate) Dem Candidate is Phill Bedesen (moderate) 

    August 7th Primaries:

    Kansas (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries: July 17th/ General: Oct. 16th)

    U.S. House - 3rd District: Brent Welder

    U.S. House - 4th District: James Thompson 

    Missouri (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries: July 11th/ General: Oct. 10th)

    U.S. House - 1st District: Cori Bush

    Heads Up! General Nov. 6th: (Senate) Dem Candidate is Clair McCaskill (moderate) 

    Michigan (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries: July 9th / General: Oct. 9th)

    Governor Dem Primary: Dr. Abdul El-Sayed (Justice Democrat)

    5 U.S. House Candidates: Justice Democrats | Brand New Congress

    Washington (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries: Only July 9th; In person July 30th / General: Oct 8th)

    3 U.S. House Candidates: Justice Democrats | Brand New Congress

    Ohio (Reg. Deadlines: Primaries: July 9th / Early voting starts July 10th/ General: Oct 9th)

    Special Election: U.S. House - 12th District: Danny O’Connor (Democrat) 

     

    Posted July 3rd, 2018; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1194: The why and the how to make voting cool again (Elections)

     

  • Tell Congress: Punitive Drug Policies Don’t Work. Harm-Reduction Does. via @DrugPolicyOrg

    Drug_Policy_Alliance_.pngThis month, in the midst of the chaos of yet another major east coast snowstorm, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a memo “strongly encouraging” federal prosecutors to apply charges that bring the death penalty in certain drug cases, including “dealing in extremely large quantities of drugs.”

    As this is part of the Trump administration’s response to the opioid crisis, many, including myself, have wondered aloud if Sessions would advocate using capital punishment on pharmaceutical executives.

    The ACLU responded to Session’s memo by calling it absurd and unconstitutional, stating, “Drug trafficking is not an offense for which someone can receive the death penalty. The Supreme Court has repeatedly and consistently rejected the use of the death penalty in cases where there has been no murder by the convicted individual.”

    Beyond that, the organization Drug Policy Alliance has extensively detailed reports on why what are called “drug-induced homicide” laws are counterproductive and inhumane. At the peak of the War on Drugs in the 1980s, the federal government and many states passed these laws to punish people who provided drugs that led to accidental overdose deaths with sentences equivalent to those for manslaughter and murder. They were rarely used, but with the recent spike in overdose deaths, they have been revived by police and prosecutors. There was a 300 percent increase in these charges from 2011 to 2016.

    As with most drug laws, drug-induced homicide laws disproportionately affect the poor, people of color, and those with felony records who have a difficult time getting jobs. Not only that, but they can provide a disincentive to call for help when witnessing an overdose if that person has provided the drugs. And we’re not just talking about selling drugs to a stranger. Many have lost loved ones from an accidental overdose after sharing drugs with them and then lost their freedom, and sometimes children, because they were the ones who provided those drugs.

    The Drug Policy Alliance is encouraging people to respond to Session’s memo by writing and calling your members of congress. On their campaign page, which we’ve linked to in the show notes, they have provided a sample letter that you can send immediately to your members of congress. That letter can also double as a call script guide.

    The Drug Policy Alliance advocates for the expansion of harm reduction services and effective treatment, including establishment of safe consumption services, drug checking, syringe access programs, 911 Good Samaritan laws and evidence-based drug education. The organization also advocates for the Marijuana Justice Act that would end federal marijuana prohibition, support racial justice, and help repair communities most devastated by the war on drugs. But, as you know, we need to take back the House and Senate this November if we ever hope to see that legislation passed. Head over to DrugPolicy.org to learn more.

    So, if opposing failed policies and adopting the solutions that will save lives instead is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Telling Congress that Punitive Drug Policies Don’t Work. Harm-Reduction Does. via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

     

    TAKE ACTION

    Tell Congress: Stand Against Harsh Drug Penalties via Drug Policy Alliance 

    Tip: Use the sample email as guidance for a call script. 

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    An Overdose Death Is Not Murder: Why Drug-Induced Homicide Laws Are Counterproductive and Inhumane (Drug Policy Alliance)

    Experts React to Trump’s Plan to Escalate Drug War and Impose Death Penalty for Drug Offenses (Drug Policy Alliance)

    Read: Jeff Sessions’s memo asking federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug traffickers (Vox)

    Legal pot business owners ponder the possibility of death row after Trump administration policy shift (NBC)

    Eleven countries studied, one inescapable conclusion – the drug laws don’t work (The Guardian, 2014)

     

    Posted March 27, 2018; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1174: Renewed and repackaged racism (Drug War)

     

  • #TakeCTRL: Stop ALPR Surveillance in Your Community with CCOPS Laws via @ACLU

    ACLU_Right_to_remain_private.pngAs if there weren’t enough reasons not to have a car, here’s one more.

    Automated License Plate Readers, or ALPRs, are high-speed, computer controlled camera systems that automatically collect all license plate numbers that come into view along with location, date and time data. These cameras are bolted on traffic lights, telephone polls, overpasses, and squad cars, in towns and cities across America. Think of it like browser cookies, but instead of your web history, ALPRs track your whereabouts as you live your life in your community using your license plate as an ID. Local law enforcement agencies then purchase this data from ALPR providers to use as they see fit.

    When ALPRs came on the scene, the civil liberty concerns were glaring. This was yet another surveillance technology with zero accountability or regulation disproportionately impacting communities of color and other unjustly targeted groups.

    To help communities fight back, two months before the 2016 presidential election, the ACLU formed the Community Control Over Police Surveillance, or CCOPS, coalition effort, providing guiding principles for local anti-surveillance legislation, as well as a C COPS model bill. In short, these principles and the model bill emphasize the right for the people and City Councils to be notified and engaged at every turn when it comes to proposed adoption of surveillance technology in their community. Nothing will be grandfathered in, every approval will be specific, every technology will be thoroughly reviewed at all angles, and the process must  be entirely transparent and well-informed.

    Then came Trump, and the necessity for cities to protect themselves at the local level became even more urgent with the pending implementation of his racist, deportation-heavy agenda. Not to mention the attacks on First Amendment rights as the people immediately began resisting.

    By the summer of 2017, cities like Seattle; Nashville; Somerville, Massachusetts; and Santa Clara County, California - yes, the home of Silicon Valley - had all passed CCOPS laws. As of that time, nineteen other cities had C COPS laws in the works with Maine and California working on passing statewide CCOPS measures.

    But it is more important than ever to keep the anti-surveillance movement alive.

    Last month, ICE announced that they have entered into a contract with an ALPR provider, giving them agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database and the ability to conduct real-time location tracking. ICE has claimed they will not collect or contribute any data to a national public or private database, but somehow that doesn’t make you feel any better, does it?

    The Verge reported that the contract is with Vigilant Solutions, the largest ALPR provider in the country. According to The Verge, Vigilant has collected data on 2 billion license plate photos by partnering with vehicle repossession agencies and local law enforcement agencies. The photos come tagged with a date, time and GPS coordinates of the sighting. They know where you have been, where you came from, and they can even find out if other vehicles are associated with your location trends. I don’t think I have to spell out for you what that means.

    Because Vigilant and other ALPR providers are private companies operating in the Wild West of mass surveillance technology culture, there are no regulations or oversight to reign them in. Contracting out this work makes it easy for ICE to violate civil liberties without having their hands directly dirtied.

    Protecting your community and your most vulnerable neighbors, coworkers and friends must include stopping ALPRs, and therefore limiting the data available to Federal agencies like ICE. Go to www.CommunityCTRL.com for the CCOPS guiding principles and model bill. You can also contact the ACLU through the same page to get help passing a CCOPS law where you live.

    So, if defending civil liberties in your community and across the country is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about #TakeCTRL: Stop ALPR Surveillance in Your Community with CCOPS Laws via @ACLU via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    TAKE ACTION

    Go to ACLU's Community Control Over Police Surveillance (CCOPS) for guidance principles and a model bill for your community

    CCOPS Model Bill

    CCOPS Guiding Principles 

    Check out the #TakeCTRL hashtag for more actions and information

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) (EFF.org)

    Exclusive: ICE is about to start tracking license plates across the US (The Verge)

    California: We Need Privacy When We Park Our Cars (EFF.org)

    ICE Accesses a Massive Amount of License Plate Data. Will California Take Action? (EFF.org)

     

    Posted January 26, 2018; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1161: Privacy, what is it good for? (Privacy Rights)

     

  • Thank Black Women with Actions Not Just Words

    2fe0871fc54510cdefdf0750e8c34369.jpg

    In the wake of the Alabama Senate race heard round the world, there has been a lot of well-deserved and overdue thanks going out to black women. According to exit polls, black turnout surged and 98 percent of Alabama black women who cast ballots voted for Doug Jones, helping deliver a sound victory against Roy Moore.

    And while words of thanks are important, it’s time to turn those words into actions of support for a community that has been at the forefront of critical elections and movements throughout history.

    Activist and writer Brittney Packet wrote a widely shared article in The Cut that highlights organizations you can support to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to thanking black women. In it she writes…

    “Give because our power has been proven time and again — despite movements silencing us, funders forgetting us, and voter suppression restricting us. Give because Black women show up to save the country time and again.”

    Another article along these lines was published in The Little Rock Sun with the title “15 Ways to Thank Black Women for Carrying the Country on Their Backs.

    We encourage you to check out both articles which we’ve linked to in the show notes, but we also wanted to highlight a few of these authors’ suggestions on the show today.

    Black women are still underrepresented in politics. Higher Heights Leadership Fund seeks to elevate Black women’s voices to shape and advance progressive policies and to provide opportunities for these women to build their leadership skills. Check out their hashtag Black Women Lead campaign to help amplify and go to higherheightsleadershipfund.org to learn more.

    Black voters in Alabama cast votes at a higher rate than white voters despite new strict voter ID laws and the closing of DMV offices in predominantly black parts of the state. The organization Woke Vote, a collaborative of grassroots organizers in the south, was part of that success. They heavily canvassed black neighborhoods to register voters and get out the vote for Jones. Go to WokeVote.us to learn more.

    The all-black team at Stay Woke is working with Rock the Vote in Florida to restore the right to vote for those banned from voting due to a prior conviction. Because Florida has laws like that. Stay Woke is getting signatures for a petition to get an initiative on the ballot in 2018 that could restore 1.6 million Floridians ability to vote if passed. Floridians can sign petitions and volunteer and non-Floridians can donate petitions to be mailed and spread the word. The petition must be completed by February 1st. Go to Florida.ourstates.org to get involved.

    We’re only skimming the surface here, of course. We need to work on closing the wage gap, reproductive rights, fighting voter suppression laws, fighting for a living wage, helping to reverse the alarming mortality rate for black mothers, and reading black publications and following black activists on social media to understand the issues that are important to the black community.

    It’s the least we can do and the fact is all of society will benefit when we do.

    So, if thanking black women in a tangible way is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Thanking Black Women with Actions Not Just Words via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    TAKE ACTION!

    Read: Black Women Kept Roy Moore Out of Office. Here’s How to Thank Them. (The Cut)

    Read: 15 Real Ways to Thank Black Women for Carrying the Country on Their Backs (The Little Rock Sun)

    Learn About: Higher Heights Leadership Fund 

    Learn About: Woke Vote

    Learn About: Stay Woke Florida Voting Initiative Petition (February 1st petition deadline!)

    Learn About: Color of Change PAC

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    Black Turnout in Alabama Complicates Debate on Voting Laws (The New York Times)

    'Black Votes Matter': African-Americans Propel Jones To Alabama Win (NPR)

    White Women Thank Themselves for Thanking Black Women Today (Reductress)

    After Alabama: Say ‘Thank You’ to Black Women, and Mean It (LA Progressive)

     

    Posted January 5, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1156: Women of color get the job done (Racism and Elections)

     

  • Support Mama’s Bail Out Day This Mother’s Day via @NationalBailOut #FreeBlackMamas #EndMoneyBail

    MAMAS_FACT2.1-300x300.jpg

    For those of you not living the day to day oppression of black people in America, it’s possible you didn’t notice right away that The Movement for Black Lives has almost entirely dropped from the mainstream media headlines since November. 

    There is no question that this is a direct casualty of the election of Donald Trump. Maybe things will change as Jeff Sessions begins flexing his Attorney General powers, but it’s important to remember that nothing has changed for black people in America since November. Unarmed black people of all ages and walks of life are still dying at the hands of police and the police are still getting away with it. 

    So if you have found yourself unengaged from the movement, your first action is to jump back in. Visit the websites and social media pages of organizations like Advancement Project, Alliance for Educational Justice, Color of Change, Dream Defenders, Law for Black Lives, and of course, The Movement for Black Lives

    Your next action is to get involved this week with Mama’s Bail Out Day, leading up to and happening on Mother’s Day, this Sunday, May 14th. The day is organized by National Bail Out, a partnership with Color of Change and The Movement for Black Lives, with the goal of reuniting families, resisting mass incarceration and ending the cash bail system once and for all. 

    The idea is simple: Local and national organizations participating in National Mama’s Bail Out Day are raising money to pay the bail of as many incarcerated mothers as possible, in all of their varieties - queer, trans, young, elder, and immigrant - and give them an opportunity to spend Mother’s Day with their families. Additionally, the organizations plan to build community through gatherings that highlight the impact of inhumane and destructive bail practices on our communities, particularly communities of color.  

    Why the focus on mothers? Women held in local jails represent the fastest growing group of incarcerated people in the United States. Since 1970, the number of women in US jails has increased by 14 times. Nearly 80% of women in jails are mothers and nearly half are in local jails for crimes they haven’t been convicted of. According to National Bail Out, we spend $9 billion on pre-trial incarceration in this country and the results are devastating. Even a few days in jail can catastrophically impact a woman’s family and community by putting her job, housing and even the custody of her children at risk. But if she can’t pay bail, she has no way out.

    The idea of paying bail to release these women comes from the tradition of enslaved black people who used their collective resources to purchase each other’s freedom before slavery was abolished. The National Bail Out website states, “Until we abolish bail and mass incarceration, we’re gonna free ourselves.”

    The more money National Bail Out can raise, the more women can be brought home for Mother’s Day and reengage with their communities. Visit NoMoreMoneyBail.org to donate and find the cities and organizations taking part in this action. You can also follow the movement on Twitter @NationalBailOut and engage with the hashtags #EndMoneyBail and #FreeBlackMamas.

    So, if resisting the devastating impacts of mass incarceration and bail practices on people of color is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Supporting Mama’s Bail Out Day This Mother’s Day via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    TAKE ACTION 

    Support Mama's Bail Out Day this Mother's Day via @NationalBailOut 

    Engage online with the hashtags #FreeBlackMamas and #EndMoneyBail

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    Locked Up for Being Poor (New York Times)

    Federal judge: Harris Co. bail system unfair to poor, low-level defendants (Houston Chronicle)

    Black Is the New Black: Number of African-American Women in Prison Is Rising (BET, 2014)

    Incarcerated Women and Girls (The Sentencing Project)

     

    Posted May 9, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

     

    Hear this segment in the context of Best of the Left #1102: Racism built a system we all suffer under