Senators: Champion Civil Rights; Yolo: Don’t Expand Incarceration

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8 mins read
Indivisible Yolo logo

To our Senators: champion civil rights. To our county and state reps: DO NOT expand incarceration in Yolo County

Click here to go straight to the call scripts!

Hi Indivisibles,

This week we’re asking our Senators to be champions for civil rights. We know it’s going to take constant work to dismantle the system of white supremacy. When our Senators are working on the right side, we need to tell them we’re behind them; when they’re reluctant to rock the boat, we need to push them to get it right. This week we’re asking our Senators to work hard to confirm Kristen Clarke, a strong supporter of civil rights and a voting rights defender who has become the target of racist attacks by Republicans. We’re also asking our Senators to fight to pass S.1, the For the People Act. The For the People Act targets anti-democratic methods that Republicans are using to keep a system of white supremacy, such as voter suppression, gerrymandering, money in politics, and corruption. Sen. Padilla has been a vocal supporter of S.1 and the need to pass it despite Republican opposition; Sen. Feinstein has said she supports it, but so far she’s been more enthusiastic about reaching out to anti-democratic, white nationalist Republicans than about protecting our democracy.

On the local level: On Tuesday, April 20, Yolo County is considering whether to greatly expand incarceration of people with substance use disorders when they are convicted of a non-violent felony. With state bill AB 1542, people who would otherwise often be on probation, or released after serving a normal length sentence, could instead be incarcerated in a substance use “treatment” program that would imprison them for up to the maximum possible sentence length. It was explicitly offered as way to get around California voters’ decision to stop incarcerating so many people who committed non-violent offenses. If the bill was passed, it would become an ongoing cost for Yolo County- siphoning money away from real, voluntary, evidence-based treatment options.

The bill analysis can be found here. No argument was submitted in support of the bill, and Human Rights Watch opposes it: “Conflating health treatment and jailing, as envisioned by AB 1542, risks substantial human rights abuse, is ineffective as a treatment, and takes resources and policy focus away from initiatives that are much more likely to help people.”  Please contact the Yolo County Board of Supervisors and both of our state congressmembers to tell them NO on AB 1542.

Example call scripts and contact numbers/emails for our actions are detailed below.

Check out our event calendar at https://indivisibleyolo.org/calendar/for virtual events and actions, including Action Coffee on Mondays and the Fixing our Democracy Action Hour Sundays at 5pm.

Text: Fixing our democracy. Volunteers needed. Blueprint provided. Action Hours: New time! 5pm on Sundays on Zoom. Images are of the Indivisible Yolo logo and of a stylized silhouette of the Capitol building in white on a blue blueprint paper style background.

Our six-week series delving into the new Indivisible Guide has concluded – but there is still plenty of fixing of our democracy left to do, so we are extending Action Hour through the rest of the first 100 days of the Biden administration. It’s still every Sunday, but now at a new (and we hope more convenient) time: 5pm. We’ll review democracy reform developments and continue to give you directions each week on an easy action to take to persuade our elected officials to enact the key democracy reforms in the new Indivisible guide.
The next Action Hour is at 5pm Sunday. Slides, action scripts, a tally sheet to track your actions, and the Zoom link can be found at: linktr.ee/dothework2020/


Urge our Senators to Champion Civil Rights

Sample Call Script for Sen. Feinstein and Sen. Padilla:
Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME]. I’m a constituent from [CITY, zip code] and I’m a member of Indivisible Yolo.

I’m calling about two related issues. Kristen Clarke is a tireless fighter for equal rights for all and I strongly support her nomination to lead the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. I urge Senator [Feinstein/Padilla] to do everything in [her/his] power to ensure that Ms. Clarke is confirmed without further delay.

I’d also like to thank the Senator for supporting S.1. The For the People Act’s practical reforms would make tremendous progress toward dismantling our country’s systemic, racist barriers to voting and true democracy. But I’m really worried that Senate Democrats are going to fail us. I want Senator [Feinstein/Padilla] to fight harder to get S.1 passed as soon as possible.

[Optional: Share personal story or feelings. What has come up for you this week? Why are you moved to stand up for civil rights?]

Thank you.


NO to expanding incarceration in Yolo County

1) Comments to Yolo County Board of Supervisors:

The Yolo County Board of Supervisors meets Tuesday, April 20 at 9am to discuss AB 1542. If they do not approve, AB 1542 is unlikely to pass.

Before 5pm Monday April 19: Leave a public comment for the Board of Supervisors by email by writing to the Clerk of the Board clerkoftheboard@yolocounty.org and write “For Public Comment” in the subject line. Let them know your opposition to AB 1542, that you are against attempts to expand incarceration, and that this is the wrong approach and will take money and resources away from real solutions.

Tuesday April 20th 9am: You can observe the live stream of the Board of Supervisors meeting by Zoom: https://yolocounty.zoom.us/j/112072974 or phone: 1-408-638-0968 Meeting ID: 112 072 974. Follow the instructions to leave a comment of no more than 1 minute.

2) Contact State congressmembers:

Sample Call Script for Sen. Dodd and Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry:

Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME]. I’m a voter and my zip code is [zip code].

I’m calling in opposition to AB 1542. I am against any attempt to expand incarceration for people with substance abuse disorders. I think it will siphon money and attention away from policies that will actually work. In the light of calls for a new approach to public health and safety, this is an incredibly tone-deaf and counterproductive bill. I’m asking [Senator Dodd/Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry] to remove [his/her] name from this bill and to oppose its passage.


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