Racial Justice

289 petitions

Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Bill de Blasio, NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson, NYC Council Member Diana Ayala, John DeSio, NYC Council Member Rafael Salamanca

Stop Mayor De Blasio’s Plan to Build a New Jail in the South Bronx

We, the residents of the South Bronx, call on all people of conscience to stand with us in strong opposition to the mayor’s proposal to build a new jail in the Mott Haven neighborhood at a site vital to implementing the community-driven Diego Beekman Neighborhood Development Plan.  On February 14, 2018, Mayor De Blasio revealed a plan to speed up the closing of Rikers Island by transferring those incarcerated into existing (retrofitted) facilities in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, bypassing Staten Island altogether, and building a new jail in a South Bronx community still reeling from decades of disinvestment, destabilization and the resulting fallout, and where two other jails already exist.  The proposed site at 320 Concord Avenue – steps from three schools, homeowners, and the 38-building Diego Beekman housing complex – has already been earmarked for years by the community as the central piece of its Neighborhood Development Plan for affordable housing, community centers and living wage jobs. Building on 22 years of community organizing, the Neighborhood Plan was developed in consultation with residents, organizations, agencies and elected officials, none of whom were consulted about the mayor’s new jail proposal. The area already has one of the highest and most unequal concentrations of homeless shelters, methadone clinics, power plants and waste transfer stations in the city. With some of the highest rates of poverty and unemployment nationwide, the Mott Haven community is in crisis, and any tax dollar investments must be in (long-ignored) social, educational and economic opportunities for the community – not a jail. We applaud the city’s plan to close Rikers Island, but the answer is not to expand the criminal justice footprint – not in the South Bronx, not anywhere – when over the last 25 years, the city’s jail population has fallen from a high of 21,674 in 1991 to under 9,000 earlier this year through a combination of falling crime rates and criminal justice reforms. Our opposition to a new jail is in no way a rejection of the people caught up in the system. We desire fairer, swifter, and more humane forms of justice for incarcerated families. We challenge the city to further reduce the number of people in jail through a combination of bail reform, decriminalization of minor offenses, and more restorative ways to deal with crime that would make the construction of a new facility unnecessary. With more than 2.3 million people imprisoned across the US, mass incarceration is the greatest moral and racial injustice of our time.  We need bold investments in people, not prisons. Now therefore, please join us in our fight, stand in solidarity with us and demand that our Mott Haven community receives the revitalization plan it designed, developed and deserves. For more information about this campaign, send us an email at  ***** Diego Beekman Neighborhood Plan Open Letter to Mayor de Blasio and NYC Council Speaker Johnson in Opposition to A New South Bronx Jail from the Diego Beekman Mutual Housing Association, HDFC (Jose de Diego Beekman Houses), the Nehemiah Homeowners, and the Concord Avenue/Jackson Avenue Homeowners South Bronx Unite Statement – No New Prisons: Not in the South Bronx, Not Anywhere  Local Residents Lash Out at Meeting on Proposed Bronx Jail (NY1 - March 8, 2018) Bill Locks Himself In with Bronx Jail Site (Daily News - March 30, 2018) 

South Bronx Coalition
2,239 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to New York State House, Carmen Arroyo, Andrew Garbarino, Ellen Jaffee, David Weprin, Felix Ortiz, Aravella Simotas

Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz Child Victim Protection Act

En Español aquí The death of 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz—specifically the brutal way the Bronx teen lost any chance at his survival—has since enthralled the nation’s heart.  This innocent boy—someone who could have been your son, your grandson, your brother, your cousin, or nephew—was slaughtered on an unbearable display for all to watch. What can be seen from video surveillance is this:  The savage acts of five gang members, dragging Junior outside of his neighborhood bodega and stabbing him multiple times with a machete and knives.  What can be felt from the video is this:  Pure helplessness.  Junior continued his struggle for survival after his attackers fled the scene.  He yelled to neighbors and onlookers to “dial 911.”  Perhaps an unfortunate sign of the times, no one used their phones to call for help, but instead, recorded the scene to post on various social media platforms.  Realizing he would not receive the assistance he so desperately needed, Junior struggled through his final moments alone.  His strength allowed him to run nearly three blocks towards St. Barnabas hospital where, sadly, he arrived too late and took his last breath on the sidewalk outside of the emergency room doors. When tragedies occur, people often wonder what could have gone differently.  Grieving family members and friends struggle with the idea that their loved one would still be alive if the events were altered, even slightly. This is not the case here.  Junior’s life could not have been saved.  Junior’s live should have been saved.  Junior would still be alive if the people around him undertook a minimum degree of civic duty to protect the life of a dying child. Unfortunately, there is no legal “duty to act” in situations like these.  Under New York law, the passersby who spectated, recorded, and posted Junior’s death have not committed any crime.  By virtue of legislation, we can create a meaningful way to honor Junior’s legacy so that children like him are never abandoned by their communities again. By sharing responsibility for public safety, the citizens of New York need to collectively call upon state lawmakers to enact legislation that would create a legal “duty to act” upon any person, who reasonably believes that a child(ren), under the age of 16, is exposed to, or has suffered, grave physical harm.  These witnesses shall be required to immediately report the incident to authorities or assist the victim, under reasonable and safe circumstances.  This proposed legislation, the “Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz Child Victim Protection Act,” will impose criminal and civil sanctions against any person, who fails to notify authorities, in situations like the ones highlighted above.  Similar laws creating a “duty to act” have been enacted in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. Junior fought for his life.  For several long minutes he sought help from members of his community—some who have known him for his entire life—to which not one person acted.  They failed Junior.  We all failed Junior.  Let us make sure we don’t fail him again. Junior’s life shall not be lost in vain.  We need 100,000 signatures to initiate a change.  

Crystal C
89,813 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Chuck Grassley, Bob Goodlatte, Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Nadler

Congress: Continue the Conversation on Race. Hold the Hearing.

Over the past few weeks, stories of black people in America engaging in normal everyday activity, being racially profiled, and having police called on them - from Airbnb, to Starbucks, to Yale - has gripped the national consciousness. These recent highly-publicized incidents are part of a history of racism and profiling in this country - from public and private actors - that often leads to the implicit or intentional weaponization of 911 to exclude black bodies from white spaces, with police encounters leading to degradation, incarceration, and in some cases, death. Recent events have brought this issue back into the fore. A national dialogue about an American problem, the next and necessary venue to further it is in Congress, where legislators, experts, and citizens can publicly examine the issue and prescribe solutions that enforce accountability. Without taking this next step, the "conversation on race" effectively fades away. Read the letter and add your voice calling on Congress to continue the conversation and hold the hearing. Share the link with your networks using the hashtag #HoldTheHearing  Read the full letter here: CALL Sen. Chuck Grassley, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman: (202) 224-3744 CALL Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member: (202) 224-3841 CALL Rep. Bob Goodlatte, House Judiciary Committee Chairman: (202) 225-5431 CALL Rep. Jerry Nadler, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member: (202) 225-5635  

Darren Martin
1,435 supporters