Community Denounces Gipson’s Hate Speech Tactics in 64th District Assembly Race

11-03-14ActionUpdateMikeGipson

WE ARE URGING ALL OFFICIALS, CLERGY, UNION AND COMMUNITY LEADERS TO DENOUNCE THE TACTICS USED BY MIKE GIPSON AND HIS CAMPAIGN STAFF:

1. ATTEND THE PRESS CONFERENCE

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 11AM

Mount Moriah Baptist Church, 4269 South Figueroa, Los Angeles, 90037

2. WITHDRAW ENDORSEMENTS AND FUNDING FROM THE GIPSON CAMPAIGN, UNTIL A FULL INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETED.

3.  ISSUE A STATEMENT that the dehumanization, discrimination and exclusion of people from community, housing, employment or politics based on past convictions will not be tolerated.  Such tactics recycle the same “divide and conquer,” plantation politics that have destroyed lives and communities for 500 years on this continent.   Law enforcement officials must also make it clear that such actions violate the oath and ethical standards of police officers that are sworn to uphold the law and not engage in deceitful and discriminatory behavior.

TO MIKE GIPSON:

Despite what you think and say, WE WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT PEOPLE CONVICTED OF CRIMES DO A LOT OF POSITIVE THINGS IN OUR COMMUNITIES.

Prophet Walker has become an accomplished engineer, has helped to transform a middle school in Watts, and led in the creation of a college program in state prison.

MANY OF US IN THE YOUTH JUSTICE COALITION LIVE IN YOUR DISTRICT, AND MANY OF US CAN AND DO VOTE.  We are students, organizers, peacebuilders and teachers.  We have a school for youth who have been pushed out of other schools or are coming home from lock-ups.  Some of us go to church.  Some of us are parents.  We volunteer hundreds of hours a month to uplift our families and communities.  We have written, co-sponsored and sponsored several state laws and local policies. OH, AND YES, WE’VE BEEN CONVICTED, LOCKED UP AND LOCKED OUT.

And we’re just a small part of a larger movement. Imagine your district without the leadership of A New Way of Life, which has housed hundreds of women coming home from prison and their children and supported them to find jobs, complete treatment and secure permanent housing.  Imagine your district without Cease Fire whose members have built and maintained truces between neighborhoods long at war with each other, taken guns from the hands of young people, or prevented retaliation after acts of violence.  Imagine your district without the Survivors Network that has secured funding for healing centers in communities throughout the state suffering from high rates of PTSD.  Imagine your district without All of Us or None which has sparked changes in laws and policies throughout the nation to expand employment eligibility and access for people with convictions.  Imagine your district without Project Cry No More whose leaders have buried their own family members due to gun violence and now help other families to survive a murder and organize to prevent future violence.   All of these programs are run by formerly incarcerated people and their families who live and work HERE.  And your district would be much worse off without their contributions.

After 40 years of the “war on drugs” and so-called “war on gangs” that swept hundreds of thousands of mostly black and brown people into the system, at least one-third of the people in the 64th Assembly District have been convicted. Combine that with our family members, and when you attack Prophet Walker, you attack a majority of the people you claim you want to represent.

BEFORE YOU REPRESENT US, YOU WILL HAVE TO ABANDON YOUR PREJUDICES AND COMMIT TO SERVING EVERYONE WHO LIVES HERE.

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