Legal Marijuana, Death Penalty Initiatives: How Should Innercity Communities React?

Legal Weed Innercity CommunitiesJustice Revival Offers Spiritual, Legislative Criminal Justice Reform Solutions

When: Thursday, October 6, 2016
Where: First AME Church of Los Angeles, 2270 So. Harvard Blvd., Los Angeles
Overflow Parking & Shuttle Service: Holman United Methodist Church, 3320 West Adams Blvd Los Angeles

America’s decades-long “War on Drugs” and “War on Crime” have too often been morphed into a grotesque War on Blacks and Browns.

Michelle Alexander’s seminal work, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” illustrated perfectly how  Jim Crow and legal racial segregation have simply given way to mass incarceration as a system of social control, targeting extraordinary numbers of black and brown men—and women.

Even now, we’re faced with yet two more unarmed black men gunned down by police officers, in Charlotte and Tulsa, adding to a ever-growing toll of questionable race-based shootings.

On Thursday, October 6th, faith and legislative leaders will come together to address root causes for these outrages at “And Justice for All? Criminal Justice and Community Healing in 2016 and Beyond,” to be held at the First AME Church of Los Angeles in South LA.

Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., widely respected former minister at Manhattan’s Riverside Church and leader of the Moral Mondays movement with Rev. William Barber, will present a spiritual perspective on both needed criminal justice reform as well as the accompanying economic oppression:

The American dream is under assault. Civilizations may clash, but they surely fall if robbed of light from above. It could come from the 1 percent or the 99%, but a guiding light is needed to keep the United States from becoming the rubble of past great civilizations.”

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom will present a legislative perspective, advocating for the passage of Proposition 64, which would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana use and sales—in large measure to protect inner-city residents from the worst ravages of the failed War on Drugs:

img_20130115_pk_newsom_0_2_1_he73qrb6_l193169546-1A successful marijuana framework would reduce the size of the black market, offer legal protection to good actors who strive to work within the law, and raise enough revenue to provide resources for substance-abuse treatment, education, public safety and environmental protection.”

Newsom, who is running for governor in 2018, will also discuss Prop. 63, which calls for background checks to buy ammunition and court removal of firearms.

County Supervisor Hilda Solis will offer an LA County perspective on needed criminal justice reform. And, joining the revival from her trip to Cuba, Rep. Karen Bass will provide a federal perspective on key criminal justice reforms.

Law professor and LA Progressive publisher Sharon Kyle will also address several the key criminal justice reform initiatives: Prop 57, which allows nonviolent felons to earn credit toward their parole and Prop 62, which would put an end to California’s death penalty (and its counter proposal, Prop 66, which would speed up death penalty executions).

SPONSORS: LA ProgressiveJustice Not JailsInterfaith Movement for Human IntegrityFirst AME Church of Los Angeles (FAME)

Cosponsors: ACLU of Southern California • AME Ministerial Alliance • Black Community, Clergy and Labor Alliance • Bread for the World • CAIR-LA (Council on American-Islamic Relations) • Central Association of the United Church of Christ • Children’s Defense Fund—Southern California • Center for Community Change • Drug Policy Alliance • Holman United Methodist Church • LA Metro Churches • Progressive Christians Uniting • Southern Christian Leadership Conference • Walking While Black • Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church

More Information: • 323.254.5400 • #andjusticeforall2016, #communityhealing2016

About Dick Price

Dick Price is Editor of the LA Progressive. With his wife Sharon, he publishes several other print and online newsletters on political and social justice issues. He has worked in publishing as a writer, editor, and publisher for a quarter century. In earlier releases, he was a cab driver, bartender, construction worker, soldier, and farmhand, and for many years helped operate a nonprofit halfway house for homeless alcoholics and addicts. To contact him, please use the form on the Contact Us page.