FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 26, 2016
LA Community Members denounce a budget that is environmentally, economically and socially toxic for Black and Brown communities
Press Contact: Diana Zuñiga, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, Diana@curbprisonspending.org or 213-864-8931
Twitter: @CURBprisons #NoMoreJails
What: County Budget Teach-In and Letter Delivery
Where: Grand Park, adjacent to the Board of Supervisors Office at 500 W. Temple St, LA
When: September 27 at 12pm
LOS ANGELES – On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will hold their final public hearing on the 2016-17 county budget described by the Chief Executive Office as a budget that is “Investing in our Future”. During the supplemental budget hearing county community members will participate in a community teach-in that to discuss the negative economic, environmental, and human impacts this budget will have on Angelenos. The group will submit a letter with five alternative budget proposals demanding that the county invest in the health and well-being for all.
“This budget proposal prioritizes a strong economic future not for Angelenos but for law enforcement,” said Diwaine Smith, Youth Organizer with the Youth Justice Coalition. “Grassroots organizations have been fighting for adequate and equitable resources for all our community members and have only received piece meal policies. We are still waiting for the board to divest from law enforcement by stopping the proposed women’s jail. We are here demanding a true investment in our young people and communities by creating a youth development department, re-directing 50% of realignment dollars towards holistic care, and generating universal representation for our undocumented community.”
The budget proposes to allocate nearly $120 million to construct the proposed women’s jail. “The Sheriff and county supervisors plan to build a women’s jail in one of the highest risk Valley Fever areas in California, with particular concerns around water in California’s ongoing drought,” says Dayvon Williams of Critical Resistance Los Angeles. “This is a clearly a destructive move, as these environmental impacts will affect low income communities of color who are already most disproportionately targeted by imprisonment.”
The budget does not distinguish a plan to support immigrant communities impacted by the criminal justice system, nor the needs of numerous community members that have experienced excessive use of force or death at the hands of law enforcement.
“There were approximately 3,700 detained and unrepresented immigrants who had their cases heard in Los Angeles area immigration courts in 2015. Just $18. 5 million would provide representation for each of these community members for a year. How are we not prioritizing this solution?,” says Felicia Gomez of the California Immigrant Policy Center. “Meanwhile, Los Angeles has paid out $35 million in settlements for excessive use of force every year. LA County needs to prioritize black and brown lives in this budget not protecting the Sheriff’s Department or building more jails.”
Tuesday’s Teach-In will feature information on five alternative budget campaigns (Stop the toxic women’s jail, LA4Youth Campaign, Universal representation for immigrant communities, Civilian Oversight and Settlement Cases, and Reimagine109: LA’s 50% Campaign) and will be followed by the delivering of a letter to the LA Board of Supervisors.
Los Angeles is still in the thick of a $3.7 billion jail plan and the county budget process. The county still has the opportunity to invest in community solutions instead of incarceration. To continue the conversation and build up pressure, CURB and it’s members are organizing several events in the next three weeks for you to join our fight!
We will be discussing the county budget and alternative budget campaigns that our members are working on at our first event this coming Tuesday.
One important aspect is that we will be discussing the last opportunity to pressure the Board of Supervisors to reject the proposed women’s jail. The Final Environmental Impact Report will be heard by the Supervisors in early October. So, it’s all hands on deck!
Will you join us to learn more and plug in?
A huge thank you for making CURB’s art fundraiser, Break it Down: Art + Resistance a huge success — we couldn’t have done it without you.
With over 250 people attending we celebrated the work of anti-prison organizers from across the state and focused on how we can stop the $2.3 billion jail plan in Los Angeles.
Break It Down: Art + Resistance, a benefit art auction for CURB, is now live on the Paddle8 website. Funds will allow us to continue our work to fight prison and jail expansion, reduce imprisonment, and build healthy, safe, and liberated communities.
Your purchases in this auction will provide a crucial investment towards true solutions to community health, security, and well-being.
Online bidding ends Wednesday, September 21st at noon PT. Make sure to purchase an art piece before time runs out! Read the rest of Our art auction is now live! »
Every day, we hear about violence in the media, see it on the streets we live in, and feel it through our own experiences of trauma. The past few months have been difficult for us all — from the Orlando shooting, to the Stanford rape case, to the murder of Black men in Falcon Heights, Baton Rouge, and across the nation, to law enforcement taking advantage of young women’s bodies throughout the Bay Area, and to all the other pain that we never hear about.
These painful stories are used to incite fear in our communities and to bring up the fear we may have deep in our hearts. We hear numerous false promises that law enforcement will reform itself, will develop accountability mechanisms, or just needs more money.
We need to be clear that building trust and legitimacy involves us working together, caring for each other, and making sure we are bridging the needs of people that are experiencing violence with true solutions to addressing harm as we fight for a world without cages. We need to remain steady in our demands to create community-based supportive services, care for the most vulnerable, and compassion even when faced with darkness while continuing to fight against structural gender and racial violence. Read the rest of Stand together against state violence »
My name is Rosa, and I am the development intern this summer for CURB. I have learned so much in the past 3 months about the real dedication and perseverance it takes to fight the prison industrial complex. Working with CURB is a truly rewarding experience and the event which I have helped organize is now approaching.
I wanted to send you a friendly reminder that we are less than 2 weeks away from our art fundraiser, Break it Down: Art + Resistance!
Over 50 talented artists have donated pieces to the cause and we even have a few art pieces that were donated from San Quentin prison. All the art will be on display September 9th and will be auctioned off online from September 7th-21st. Read the rest of Over 50 artists are giving to CURB – Will you join? »
We are excited to announce that CURB is looking for an Advocacy Intern, a Development Intern, and a Media and Communications Intern to join our team! These internships provide the opportunity to gain experience in research, outreach, grassroots organizing, media campaigns, coalition and movement building, public education, policy advocacy and social justice work. Working directly with the Statewide Coordinators, the interns will have the opportunity to develop leadership and organizing skills while working alongside an amazing group of anti-prison activists.
After years of an ongoing healthcare scandal over the dismal healthcare conditions in Santa Rita jail, Alameda County is back to the drawing board in selecting a healthcare provider for its jail system. Yet despite the turmoil, they are barrelling forward with expanding the jail under the banner of improved health care.
For those of us who don’t want a bigger jail, this is an important moment to intervene.
As Alameda County considers re-opening the process to find a medical provider, we can turn the tide on the jail plan. We need to make sure the media is covering the real story here. Submit a letter to the editor to ask: How can Sheriff Ahern justify building a “mental health” jail without even having a competent health care provider?
As we step into these summer months, CURB is both emboldened by recent victories in the fight against county jail and state prison expansion and aware of the huge resources we must accrue in confronting the systems that attempt to further incarcerate our loved ones and community members.
To celebrate our work we want to invite you to an art auction fundraiser that will be held at Human Resources.
This fundraiser will be essential in providing the resources to continue our fight and build on our recent victories! Read the rest of Save the Date: Break It Down Art Auction! »