26 Oct PROP 17—FREE VOTE —VOTE YES
By Community Coalition’s Member-Led Political Education Committee
Pastor Byron Smith
Voting Rights Restoration for Persons on Parole Amendment
Currently, the California Constitution disqualifies people with felonies from voting until they have completed their term of imprisonment and parole. The ballot measure would amend the state constitution to allow people with felonies, who are on parole, to vote. Imprisonment would still disqualify someone from voting, but those on parole will have their voting rights restored. If passed, Prop 17 will restore voting rights to approximately 50,000 Californians currently on parole.
Kamala D. Harris (D) – U.S. Senator
Alex Padilla (D) – Secretary of State
Steven Bradford (D) – State Senator
Scott Wiener (D) – State Senator
Holly Mitchel (D) – State Senator
Rob Bonta (D) – Assemblymember
Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D) – Assemblymember
Ash Kalra (D) – Assemblymember
Kevin Mullin (D) – Assemblymember
Shirley Webner (D) – Assemblymember
Wendy Carillo (D) – Assemblymember
Mike Gipson (D) – Assemblymember
Kevin McCarthy (D) – Assemblymember
Mark Stone (D) – Assemblymember
ACLU of California
League of Women Voters of California
Jim Nielsen (R) – State Senator
Pros: Actionnetwork.org : Nearly 50,000 Californians who have returned home from prison cannot vote even though they are raising families, holding jobs, paying taxes, and contributing to society in every other way. They should be encouraged to reenter society and have a stake in their community, not be punished by having their voting rights denied. Prop 17 will right this injustice and restore voting rights to Californians returning home from prison.
Cons: State Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-4): “Let’s talk a little about the universe we are dealing with here. They include murderers, voluntary manslaughter, rape, sodomists. For those that commit the crimes, particularly the heinous crimes, part of their sentence is to complete the parole period.” [Source]
Why Does It Matter to South LA?
Biases in the criminal justice system mean that poor people and people of color are more likely than others to be convicted of crimes and to lose their voting rights, while wealthy people can always afford the best lawyers. Because of persistent and systematic racial inequalities in our criminal legal system, three out of four men leaving California prisons are Black, Latino, or Asian American.