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Legislation Action Alert - Georgia

February 2020

MOBB United for Social Change Action to OPPOSE Governor Kemp's Radical Budget Proposals

 

Background: Governor Kemp recently declared that gang violence in Georgia is at crisis levels; but, according to the most recent data available that statement is false. The most recent data reveals violent crime is down 13% in Georgia since 2011 and has been in a sharp decline since 1993. Yet Governor Kemp is still proposing radical changes under the guise of reform that would be disproportionately harmful to black men and boys.  He is proposing:

  1. Trimming more than $2 million dollars from the state Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
  2. Cutting funding for the states public defender system.
  3. Increasing funding for state prosecutors.
  4. Increasing funding to the Georgia Bureau of investigation's gang task force.

Georgia already has a rigorous and reliable process which allows accountability while maintaining needed access to critical resources. This ensures the state complies with its Due Process requirements. The state Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, for example, runs the state accountability courts which allow judges to enroll offenders in tailored programs that allow them access to less damaging remediation and reform measures and move towards a more productive life without crime. Accountability courts work. Don't allow funds to be diverted away from them. Diverting funds away from the states public defenders and increasing funds for state prosecutors is a recipe for disaster and does not work. Funding for public defenders is already severely underfunded. Most public defenders are already burdened with more cases than they can handle, not allowing them time to properly prepare a defense for their clients. Some public defenders have complained that they have experienced only having time to meet with defendants just minutes before going before the judge, due to large caseloads. Tough on crime prosecutors only add to the problem of mass incarceration of poor people and people of color.

Governor Kemp's proposed gang database is also potentially unconstitutional because it includes racial profiling. Criminal Justice statistics regularly demonstrate that these kinds of cut backs have disproportionately negative impacts on communities of color. If what Governor Kemp is proposing becomes a reality it will only serve to increase the prison population in Georgia, increase recidivism and possibly ruin lives.  Because Georgia already has systems that are in place and are working, this proposal is fiscally irresponsible and goes against what actually works and has been working for the state of Georgia for years now.
 
We want our tax dollars to be used for changes and programs that work. We also want your support in demanding an increase in funding for accountability courts, supportive services, public defenders, and programs which engage and protect youth at risk for becoming involved in gangs. 

Please do not support the Governor's proposal.

 

Call To Action

#ProtectThem by telling your representatives that you oppose these 'reforms'. 

Step 1: Find contact information for your legislators in the Georgia Legislature here: OpenStates - GA Legislature

Step 2: Send an email. You can copy and paste from the background information above or use this link: Send Email

Step 3: Follow up with a phone call:

Sample Script:

(Ask to speak with the staff member most familiar with the Senator or Assembly member's position Criminal Justice)

Hi My name is _______ and I am calling from Moms of Black Boys United and MOBB United for Social Change, an organization consisting of over 180,000 concerned moms. We strongly OPPOSE Governor Kemp's proposed budget changes that include:

  1. Trimming more than $2 million dollars from the state Criminal Justice Council.
  2. Cutting funding for the state's public defender system. 
  3. Increasing funding for state prosecutors. 
  4. Increasing funding for the GBI gang task force.

I would like to see an increase in funding for the states accountability courts and supportive services because they work.

I would also like to see an increase in funding for public defenders and programs which engage and protect youth who are at risk for becoming involved in gangs.

Thank you for your support.

Step 4: Give Governor Kemp this message directly. The phone number for Governor Kemp is 1-404-656-1776. There is no direct email address for him, only an intake form.

 

Moms of Black Boys United - Ensuring that our SUNs Survive and Thrive
 
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