The Community Restoration Project

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It is tragic that New York, the beacon of progressivism, continues to remain a power-house for negatively impacting Black and Brown communities through wealth and income inequality and policies such as the criminalization of nonviolent drug offenses, continued barriers that lead to  increased recidivism and a lack of restoration for those who have been released. Open Buffalo believes that our liberation is tied to economic justice and our literal freedom to thrive.  We stand in solidarity with individuals oppressed to Zero Tolerance Policy, the War on Drugs, and the War on Poverty. Our communities deserve justice for past harms imposed by unfair sentencing laws and glanced-over disparities among marginalized communities. 


That is why we are asking you to sign this petition.


The billionaire class is pitting us against one another—Black and white, documented and undocumented, Upstater and Downstater, homeowner and tenant—as a means to divide us while they squeeze every last penny from our communities and take our freedom while doing it.

 

It doesn’t have to be this way. We have a choice. We can invest where it matters and keep wealth where it belongs. For that to happen, we need to tax corporations and the very rich. Our economy should work for all of us, not just the greedy few. These times call for us to have the courage to demand the wealthiest New Yorkers return what was taken from our communities while we work to decriminalize our communities and make them safer, giving us the opportunity to thrive.

 

We demand:

Legalization of cannabis in New York State- Provision of cannabis-curated revenue to be used to benefit black and brown communities that have been most impacted by over-policing and the War on Drugs.  
A study by the School of Law confirmed that African Americans are now 7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana offenses than their Caucasian counterparts; a statistic that increased within the past decade after Mayor Brown ‘s implementation of ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’
A progressive taxation system to address the desperate needs of New Yorkers by taxing high incomes, taxing wealth, and taxing the financial sectors.  Pass the Invest in Our New York Act.

Here is what we know in order to end mass incarceration:

Black and Brown communities face two public health emergencies: COVID-19 and the epidemic of the criminal-legal system. This system has devastated families and created lasting trauma across entire communities. Burdened with a disproportionate amount of arrests and zero tolerance policies, these policies have broken up families and continue to marginalize and economically disadvantage our communities. And when released, do we offer a clean slate?  No! We need to have a just criminal legal system that gives people an opportunity to integrate fully in our society once released.  

We demand:

“Clean Slate” Policy- Automatic expungement of the records of formerly incarcerated individuals (returning citizens) based upon initial conviction
We have no time to wait! We are calling for the passage of these bills during the 2021 NYS legislative session. Stand with us and add your name to the petition to demand justice now!



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