For Immediate Release
As Democrats, we have a long and proud history of defending civil rights and expanding opportunity for all Americans – from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009 to including marriage equality in the party platform in 2012. We have fought to end discrimination in all forms. While these efforts are notwithstanding, it is time for Democrats to live up to our ideals and mission to stand in solidarity, and hold ourselves accountable, to protect the sanctity of Black lives.
Members of the Executive Board of the Democratic Party of Dane County hereby call upon fellow Democrats to use our collective political will in supporting comprehensive criminal justice reforms by taking direct actions against complacency in support of the following:
- Immediately halt all aspects in the planning, design, and construction of a new jail facility in Dane County.
- Immediate cessation of inhumane treatment and practices by county-controlled officials. This includes but is not limited to ending the practice of solitary confinement and providing as many persons who are incarcerated access to appropriate treatment centers.
- Divest funds allocated to the system such as the new jail facility in Dane County or purchase of military grade weapons to restorative justice, human and health services programs that support those struggling with chronic homelessness, addiction issues, mental health issues, and the impact of historic trauma.
- Reform inequitable policies and procedures of the entire system such as arrest to sentencing.
- Eliminate barriers and end racist and discriminatory practices impacting access to employment, housing, and insurance for the formerly incarcerated.
Further inaction and silence simply perpetuate the systemic injustices and issues that pervades every facet of our society, especially for Black lives. This list is a start to an opportunity for the long due reform and changes required for a just community. We have an opportunity to act now with the Dane County Board Resolution RES-145 that is currently before us. We ask that our members and County Board Supervisors support the stated reforms.
Collectively, we are stronger together. Let’s commit ourselves in support of Black lives and join the movement in continuing the hard work in fighting to remove the systemic barriers, stand strong against the systemic oppression, incarceration, violence, and brutality which have been carried out by our institutions and allowed within our community. We vow to work with all organizations and individuals especially Black folks who have dedicated a lifetime to racial and social justice movement and to elevate the voices of the oppressed in the continued work to advocate for justice for all. #BlackLivesMatter