Urge Your Assembly Member to Support the RISE Act—Take Action TODAY

We all know that the War on Drugs has been a costly failure--and catastrophic for people of color—but "liberal" California's criminal code still continues the war by doubling or tripling the sentence for a nonviolent drug offense if the person has a prior conviction for a similar offense. These harsh "enhancements" have left almost 2000 Californians languishing in overcrowded county jails with sentences of 5-10 years or more. Thousands more are warehoused in state prisons. The California … [Read more...]

Will California Stop Police from Taking People’s Property without a Criminal Conviction?

Almost a year after California lawmakers rejected legislation that would restrict police departments’ ability to take cars, cash, homes and other property from suspected criminals without a conviction, the bill’s author is trying again as similar efforts succeed across the country. The practice, known as civil asset forfeiture, gained currency during the height of the drug war in the 1980s as a way for law enforcement to financially cripple drug lords and fund anti-narcotics operations. But … [Read more...]

End Policing for Profit NOW: Support SB 443

Thanks to the tireless advocacy of LA's Senator Holly Mitchell, the California legislature may soon act to curb an abuse that has allowed law enforcement agencies in California to pocket around $80 million each year in assets taken from residents without any form of due process at all. The measure comes up for a crucial vote in the Assembly within the next two weeks. This abusive practice, going back three decades, is called civil asset forfeiture. Although police still like to claim that … [Read more...]

California Lawmaker Revives Controversial Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill

A California lawmaker said she is reviving a contentious bill — vehemently opposed by police — which aims to change state and local law enforcement’s ability to seize property from citizens before they are convicted of a crime. State Senator Holly Mitchell, a Democrat, says she intends to bring it up for vote on the legislature’s floor before the end of the session this year Senate Bill 443 bill aims to close a federal loophole that allows state and local law enforcement officials to … [Read more...]

Asset Forfeiture Takes Wealth from Communities of Color

Did you know that in 2014 police took more property from people in the U.S. than burglars did? Frightening, but absolutely legal. Police are allowed to take your money and property even if you aren’t convicted of a crime, or arrested. California law enforcement agencies use federal civil asset forfeiture laws to plump up their budgets and unfairly target Californians. You can help change this here. A report we released today finds that, although this tactic of policing for profit can … [Read more...]

Asset Forfeiture’s Unintended Poor Victims

Who knew the aggressive law enforcement tool to weaken and discourage organized crime would sweep up unintended poor victims who are unjustly losing their property? Here in California there is proposed legislation to correct this travesty and protect people from the snares of over policing. And whether or not we realize it anyone of us can fall into the trap of losing our home, car, and property. That is why State Senator Holly Mitchell (D – Los Angeles) has spent the past two years pushing … [Read more...]

LAPD & Community: Overcoming Mistrust

Moderator: Sandy Banks, former LA Times columnist Panelists: Holly Mitchell, California State Senator, District 30 Kim McGill, Organizer, Youth Justice Coalition Kathleen Kim, Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners Arif Alikhan, Director, LAPD Office of Constitutional Policing and Policy SATURDAY, APRIL 2, 2016 LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL, MERRIFIELD HALL 919 ALBANY STREET (AT OLYMPIC BLVD) 9:30 am registration & refreshments – Program 10:00 - noon Limited seating, … [Read more...]

Women and Inequality Forum, November 6th

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Big Day in Sacramento Tomorrow: Make Your Calls TODAY

Tomorrow, July 2, the California Senate Judiciary Committee will consider AB 218, the must-win "ban the box" measure that would end the current practice of requiring public sector job applicants to check a box if they have a felony conviction. It would be really good if two Republican senators from our area--Joel Anderson of Riverside and Mimi Walters of Irvine--could hear from us. Sen. Anderson's contact info: 916.651.4036; Senator.Anderson@ senate.ca.gov. Sen. Walters' contact info: (916) … [Read more...]