by Ivette Alé
Now is the time to turn up the pressure on our state assembly to pass SB 180, the Repeal Ineffective Sentencing Enhancement (RISE) Act!
SB 180 would repeal the three-year sentence enhancement for prior drug convictions, with the exception of convictions involving a minor. Prosecutors have used sentence enhancements for prior drug convictions as tools to coerce people to accept guilty-plea arrangements for charges, for fear of facing many years in prison on convictions for which they have already served time. For more information, please click here.
The so-called war on drugs is nothing for America to be proud of. In solidarity with people around the country who are taking action to condemn and shut down white supremacy along with monuments of white supremacy, we are working to cancel policies that have acted as tools of anti-Black racial oppression and destabilizers of under-resourced communities of color.
What can you do to help?
- Send in a letter to the editor (LTE) to media outlets near you in order to heighten awareness about the RISE Act. A sample letter has been written for you but feel free to make edits so it fits your voice. Click here to get started!
- Call your assembly member and make sure they know that you support SB 180/ RISE Act. Tell them that you strongly encourage them to support as well. It may be heard on the assembly floor as soon as tomorrow! Click here to find out which district you live in. Use this sample call script, from our friends at the Ella Baker Center:
My name is _____, and I live in ____, California. I am calling to say that I support Senate Bill 180, related to drug sentences. California wastes too much money by locking people up for very long periods of time, when it should be investing in services we need in our communities, like schools, dropout prevention programs, job training, housing, and employment. My family and I want to stop wasting lives and money on jails and prisons. We want services in our communities that really make us safer. Please let my Assemblymember know that I strongly support this bill.
If they support the bill, thank them for their support! If they aren’t planning to support, or the person you speak to is unsure of how your representative may vote, use the script above to record your support.
In the words of the late, great Dick Gregory, a strong advocate for human rights, “Some kind of way, we have to say enough is enough!”
The 75 or so grassroots organizations that make up the CURB coalition, along with the thousands of people who are locked in human cages for drug convictions appreciate your advocacy!
In united power,
Californians United for a Responsible Budget