Policy: Step up and vote!

Step up and vote on November 8th!

Exercise your right to vote, even if you are not a citizen yet, do not forget that many of your family members, friends and coworkers can vote.  Reach to everyone and step up and vote on in the next election!

Homies Unidos is a nonpartisan organization.  Over the years we haven’t pledge neither affiliated with no political party neither any candidate.  But in the other hand we have lived our share of injustice and inequality, we are incredulous, stunned by the many unjustly convicted or incarcerated.  The Criminal Justice is more than broken by shattered in thousand pieces.  What is more than scary but astonishing is that One of California’s most prominent federal judges, Reagan-appointed, has questioned fairness of criminal-justice system Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit court of appeals.”[1]

Over one year ago, Kozinski stated, “Police investigators have vast discretion about what leads to pursue, which witnesses to interview, what forensic tests to conduct and countless other aspects of the investigation,” Kozinski wrote. “Police also have a unique opportunity to manufacture or destroy evidence, influence witnesses, extract confessions and otherwise direct the investigation so as to stack the deck against people they believe should be convicted. Wow.”[2]

  Incarcerated Citizens and Formerly Incarcerated, CAN VOTE!

In the last 15 years we have seen and experienced how many state and local initiative or measures, commonly known as propositions, have been in many situations affecting and excluding our communities, until the extent that millions of formerly incarcerated CITIZENS are canned, which is wrong because according the California Secretary of State website even the incarcerated CITIZENS can vote, even if they are Californians with Criminal Convictions or Detained in Jail or Prison,”[3] they can still vote.  Their voice also matters!

Please read the simple chart which is cited below, because “…the Criminal Justice Realignment Act (Realignment) … has caused some confusion about voting rights among people who have criminal convictions. The chart above provides an explanation of who is eligible and who is not eligible to register to vote in California.”[4]

 

Eligibility Requirements

You can register to vote and vote if you are:

  • A United States citizen;
  • A resident of California;
  • At least 18 years of age or older on or before the next Election Day;
  • Not currently imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony; and
  • Not currently found to be mentally incompetent by a court of law.

 

Eligible to register and vote:

  • In county jail serving a misdemeanor sentence. A misdemeanor never affects your right to vote.
  • In county jail because jail time is a condition of probation.
  • On probation.
  • On mandatory supervision.
  • On post-release community supervision.
  • Done with parole.  Your right to vote is automatically restored when you complete your parole. You just need to fill out a voter registration application either online at RegisterToVote.ca.gov or using a paper voter registration card.

Not eligible to register and vote:

  • Currently imprisoned:
    • In state prison.
    • In county jail serving a state prison sentence.
  • Currently on parole.

Yes, on Proposition 57

Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act – This proposition restores the authority of judges, not prosecutors, to decide if juveniles as young as 14 should be tried in adult court, a right judges had until 2000. The prosecution may file a motion, but the court decides. Proposition 57 will also reduce the state prison population and costs by allowing earlier parole of nonviolent felons, with sentence credits for good behavior and rehabilitation or education. This measure could save tens of millions of dollars.

 

In recent years, Californians have voted to prioritize rehabilitation and education over “lock ‘em up and throw away the key” sentencing practices. Prop 57 is another step forward, allowing non-violent o enders to be eligible for parole a er completing the first full term of their sentence if they demonstrate good behavior and complete education programs. Proposition 57 also protects young people from being tried as adults by requiring judges to carefully review all of the circumstances of their life before making a decision on whether they should be charged as an adult.

Why it’s Needed:

  • Now inmates must serve fixed prison terms and additional time for sentencing enhacement.
  • Prevents long sentences that are unfair for the offense.
  • Protects young people from being tried as adults. 90% of youth prosecuted as adults are Black, Latino or Asian.
  • Why it does:
  • Allows more Californians to qualify for parole after completing the first full term of their sentence.
  • Provides credits for good behavior and encourages completion of rehabilitation and education.
  • Protects minors as young as 14 from being tried as adults by requiring a hearing in juvenile court to determine their charges.

Reach to everyone and step up and vote!

Democracy is not exclusion but inclusion of our families and our communities. All of our neighbors are unhappy by a systematic process of criminalization, incarceration, immigration raids, discrimination, racial profiling, lack of jobs, low wages, unfunded schools and recreation services.   It is feasible to become resilient, stand in resistance and live another 200 hundred years of oppression, but it is not unacceptable.

Let’s get united and come our as families and communities which will step up and vote altogether!

[1] http://reason.com/archives/2015/07/24/is-the-criminal-justice-system-tilted-in. – It is a compelling and important read — especially as legislatures around the country wrestles with issues of prison overcrowding, police reform, changes to civil-asset forfeiture laws, police body camera bills and the like.[2] idem 
[3] http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/voting-california/who-can-vote-california/voting-rights-californians/
[4] Ibid

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