By Myriah Lynne
Deadline: End of September
It’s down to the wire: we need you to call Governor Newsom NOW about bringing justice back into our criminal justice system. Tell him to do two things: sign the CRISES Act supporting community public safety responses, and take immediate action to stem the COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin. Read on for details and a call script.
What you can do:
We’ve written several times about the CRISES Act, AB 2054. We’re thrilled this important legislation supporting community public safety response has passed the legislature – now it needs the Governor’s signature. Call him, and also tell him to take action ASAP to stop the COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin and protect prisoners who are suffering and dying during this pandemic.
What to say:
My name is _____, my zip code is ____, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. I’m calling to ask Governor Newsom to sign AB 2054, the CRISES Act. The Act will help people get appropriate emergency services from trained professionals with connection to their communities. I’m also asking him to take action ASAP to help the incarcerated at San Quentin who are suffering and dying because of the pandemic. We need large-scale releases, stopping transfers between facilities including ICE detention, providing ongoing COVID testing to the whole population, and bringing back free phone calls.
Governor Gavin Newsom: email; (916) 445-2841
About the CRISES Act (Action from the Anti Police-Terror Project): Too often, the only response available for people who need support is the police, which can escalate a crisis and increase the risk of harm for everyone and for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and people with disabilities in particular. It’s time California took the lead and invests in public safety responses rooted in community, not punishment. Governor Newsom has the opportunity to invest in care and save lives by signing AB 2054, the CRISES Act, which was approved by the legislature this session. An initial investment in this year’s budget will help fund pilot programs for community alternatives to policing in multiple counties across California.
Stop the San Quentin Outbreak (Action from Critical Resistance): On May 30, 2020, the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) transferred 121 incarcerated people from California Institution for Men prison – a known hot spot for COVID-19 at the time – to San Quentin State Prison. This led to a growing outbreak at San Quentin, which prior to the transfer had no COVID-19 cases, and put incarcerated individuals and people who work at the prison in danger. Today, over 2,200 incarcerated people have tested positive at San Quentin and 26 have died during the outbreak. On top of this, incarcerated people at San Quentin are not being allowed to make phone calls. CDCR claims this is an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19. Incarcerated people need to stay in communication with their families. Incarcerated people at San Quentin have released a list of demands for the Governor to take action required to ensure their safety.
Myriah Lynne is an environmentalist and lives in Oakland.