Advocacy

Project NIA: 2016 Year in Review

2016 was a year of transitions for us. Our founder and director Mariame Kaba moved back to her hometown of NYC after over 20 years of living and organizing Chicago. Most of the projects that we helped to catalyze and incubate over the years are now their own independent groups. Please continue to support and keep up with information about Circles and Ciphers and Liberation Library. You can also find most of the resources that we’ve developed over the years here.

In 2016, we continued our advocacy, organizing and political education in service of our goal to end youth incarceration. Below please find some highlights of our 2016 work.

1. Bye Anita: A Campaign to Defeat Anita Alvarez
We helped to develop popular education materials, provided intellectual scaffolding and mobilized our communities through digital and community organizing to help defeat former Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez in the Democratic primary in March 2017. We also collaborated with our friend Tom Callahan to create a video documenting part of the #ByeAnita campaign this fall.

2. #ShutDownChi Solidarity Action: Close Youth Prisons
In solidarity with the Chicago Teachers’ Union, on April 1st, we joined tens of thousands of Chicagoans to stand up to Rahm Emanuel, Governor Rauner and their cohort of corporate conspirators who are working to protect the rich while implementing massive cuts intent on destroying our communities, disproportionately impacting black and brown lives. We organized a rally at the IYC-Chicago youth prison to underscore that one of the ways that we can secure more funding for the things that matter most is to CLOSE YOUTH PRISONS across Illinois. The action was co-sponsored with Assata’s Daughters, Black Lives Matter – Chicago, Brown People for Black Power, Chicago Freedom School, Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Young Women and Girls, Chicago League of Abolitionist Whites, For the People Artists Collective, Kuumba Lynx, and Lifted Voices.

Our co-strugglers at Kuumba Lynx beautifully documented the rally and action in a video.

The action was also lovingly documented by movement photographer Sarah Jane Rhee.

by Sarah Jane Rhee (4/1/16)

by Sarah Jane Rhee (4/1/16)

3. Restorative Questions Poster Project
We invited artists to contribute beautiful posters based on a set of restorative questions. Over a dozen submissions were then made available to everyone for free downloading. As Paul Kuttner wrote about the project:

“The posters, and the questions they pose, are deceptively simple. However, if we were to truly use these questions as our starting point to address crime, violence, and conflict, we would find ourselves veering far from the punitive path. To ask someone who has been harmed, “What is needed to make things right?” is to privilege healing over retribution. To ask someone who has done harm, “Who do you think has been affected by what you did?,” is to assume that learning and growth are possible.”

We began this summary by saying that 2016 was a transition year for us. In 2017, we are suspending the bulk of our work as we take time to evaluate and assess our mission, organizational structure, and capacity. We will continue to have a presence on social media during this period. Keep your eyes and ears open for future announcements from us about how we will move forward. Thanks to everyone for your support over the past 8 years.

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Illinois Juvenile Justice Legislative Updates

Thanks to our friends at the Children and Family Justice Center (Northwestern University School of Law), we have summary of juvenile justice related legislation passed during this GA session.

Three significant pieces of legislation concern youth subject to adult sentencing or who are in the deepest end of the juvenile system:

HB 2471 – brought by Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children member Restore Justice Illinois, with technical and legal expertise provided by the Children and Family Justice Center’s Shobha Mahadev and Scott Main, this bill is a step towards bringing Illinois into compliance with recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions holding youth “categorically less culpable” than adults and requiring courts to take into account how children are different. The bill applies to any youth in adult court; eliminates mandatory life without parole for juveniles; creates a list—based on factors enumerated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama—of youth-specific mitigation evidence that a court must consider (in addition to what a court already considers in aggravation and mitigation) in determining an appropriate sentence; and empowers judges, where appropriate, to depart from mandatory firearm enhancements.

HB 3718 (known as the “automatic transfer reform” bill) – provides an amenability hearing in juvenile court to most youth who are currently excluded from juvenile court and sent directly to adult court, including:
All youth aged 13-15, regardless of charged offense;
All youth aged 16-17, unless charged with first-degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, or aggravated battery with a firearm;
Youth previously charged or tried in adult criminal court.

Concerning youth who will continue to originate in or be transferred to adult court, the bill expands judicial options for criminal sentencing and requires data and outcome reporting for youth subject to adult charges and sentences.

SB 1560 (known as the “DJJ right-sizing” bill) – bars commitment of youth to state facilities for status offenses and misdemeanor offenses, limits the time youth spend on aftercare supervision following release from state facilities, and requires that youth facing new adult charges be subject to local bond or pretrial detention rather than being returned to a state facility in advance of trial.

In addition, the General Assembly also passed legislation:
1. Reducing certain cannabis possession penalties for youth and adults, adding some record confidentiality protections for youth facing municipal tickets for violations (HB 218)
2. Barring children aged 12 or under from being admitted to a juvenile detention center unless a local youth service/crisis housing provider is contacted first but cannot accept the child (HB 2567)
3. Increasing communities’ ability to establish and participate in local juvenile justice councils (HB 4044)
4. Limiting the use of suspension, expulsion, and zero-tolerance policies in publicly-funded schools (SB 100)
5. Incentivizing educational attainment by youth and adult offenders by reducing the waiting period to seal eligible offense records upon receipt of a degree/certificate (HB 3149)
6. Increasing police accountability to communities [“body cam” guidelines; “receipts” for frisks and searches; data reporting on all stops culminating in detention] (SB 1304)

Burge Torture Reparations Ordinance Passes Out of the Finance Committee!

Today, the Burge Torture Reparations Ordinance unanimously passed out of the Chicago City Council’s Finance Committee.

On the eve of a hearing on the Burge Torture Reparations Ordinance (April 14), Chicago Torture Justice Memorials (CTJM) and Amnesty International – USA reached an agreement on a reparations package with Mayor Emanuel and his administration. The legislation is historic and will be the first time a City in the U.S. has provided reparations to victims of racially motivated police violence. If passed, the legislation will provide concrete redress to the torture survivors and their family members, including a formal apology; specialized counseling services; free enrollment in City Colleges; a history lesson about the Burge torture cases taught in Chicago Public schools; a permanent public memorial to the survivors; and it sets aside $5.5 million for a Reparations Fund for Burge Torture Victims.

The legislation comes after an impressive grassroots campaign co-led by Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, Amnesty International – USA, Project NIA and We Charge Genocide.

Tomorrow, on May 6th, the full Chicago City Council will vote on this historic legislation that will provide reparations to the Burge Torture Survivors and family members. The largest gathering of Burge Torture survivors and family members will assemble to watch the City Council vote on the legislation.

NEWREP2-min

Join us at 10 am at City Hall for the vote!

For those who cannot make the meeting, we will gather at Chicago Temple for a celebration lunch after the vote. We anticipate being there around noon. All are invited to join us at Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington, James Parlor Room, 2nd Floor after the City Council Vote.

Take Action: File A Witness Slip for HB2567 Today

HB2567, HCA#1 requires that prior to admitting a child ages 10-12 to a county juvenile temporary detention center, a determination be made that a local youth service provider is not able to accept the child. Illinois allows children as young as 10 to be confined before trial in county juvenile detention centers. Detained children are isolated from their families, their schools and their communities, and studies reveal significant harm to children from even a short period of detention. This bill requires that for 10-12 year olds an effort is made for an alternate placement such as with a provider in the Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services (CCBYS) network.

This bill passed out of the House with bi-partisan support on April 15, 2015. Sen. Heather Steans is the senate sponsor of the bill. Text of the bill is available here. Here is a FACT SHEET.

This bill is now up in the Senate Criminal Law committee, Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.   Please file a witness slip in favor of this bill. You can do so here.

How to File A Witness Slip:
1. Click HERE (after reading the steps below)
2. Under Section I, fill in your identification information
3. Under Section II, fill out your organization if you are representing one or write “self” if you are representing yourself. You can also fill in N/A.
4. In Section III, select “Proponent”
5. In Section IV, select “Record of Appearance Only,” unless you are submitting other forms of testimony, in which case select those as well.
6. Agree to the ILGA Terms of Agreement
7. Select the “Create Slip button

Update on the Burge Torture Survivors Reparations Fight

We are thrilled that Alderman Ed Burke, Chair of the Finance Committee, announced that the committee will hold a hearing on the Reparations Ordinance on Tuesday, April 14 at 10 am. In recent months, Project NIA and our friends at Amnesty International, BYP100, Chicago Light Brigade, CTJM and We Charge Genocide have stepped up to organize marches, demonstrations, rallies, sing-ins, exhibition-ins, teach-ins and more to demand a hearing and passage of the ordinance; and our efforts are paying off. As torture survivor Darrell Cannon told the Sun-Times: “People power has a way of getting the attention of the hardest of hearts of politicians.”

Now that we have a hearing, we need you to show up on April 14 at City Hall to demonstrate your support for the ordinance!

april14hearingHow You Can Support the Campaign for Reparations
Leading up to the hearing, please help us keep up the momentum and continue to build support.  Here’s what you can do:

  1. Please call the finance committee members listed here, and ask them if they plan on attending the finance committee hearing on 4.14.15 at 10 a.m.  Ask them to commit to doing so.  It is important for the aldermen and women who support our ordinance to attend that meeting and publicly demonstrate their support for our ordinance with their presence and their votes.
  2. Here’s how you can “Fight for Reparations in 10 minutes or Less.” Please participate and invite others to do the same.
  3. Join us on March 31, 2015 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at a rally outside of the Mayoral debate at WTTW studio. Chicagoans are talking about reparations. The Mayoral candidates must do the same.
  4. Come meet others in the movement at a potluck on April 1st, from 6 – 8 p.m. at Grace Place, 637 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60605
  5. Attend, host and spread the word about #TeachBurge Teach-Ins taking place through mid-April.
  6. Attend a screening of End of the Nightstick, a documentary about the struggle to expose brutal interrogations and torture by Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, on April 12, 2 pm, at Gallery 400 (400 S. Peoria). Part of the 2nd annual Injustice for All film festival organized by Trinity Church. If you are planning to attend the hearing on 4/14, we especially encourage you to stay for the discussion following the screening. We will be explaining what to expect at the hearing.
  7. Please donate to the Reparations Now Campaign. Every dollar counts as we continue to seek justice for Burge police torture survivors.

Chicago Police Torture and Reparations Exhibition-In at City Hall

photo by Sarah Jane Rhee (3/18/15)

photo by Sarah Jane Rhee (3/18/15)

The commitment and creativity of activists involved in this struggle has been truly inspiring. Take a peek at the Chicago Police Torture & Reparations Exhibition-In (captured in Storify), a dramatization of the history and legacy of Chicago police torture through an interactive art exhibition and teach-in at City Hall, right outside Mayor Emanuel’s office, organized by us and friends.  Read our friend Kelly Hayes’s recap of the event here. Check out a set of terrific photos of the exhibition and teach-in by Sarah Jane Rhee and Tom Callahan HERE.

Kuumba Lynx Brings Down the House at #LTAB2015

Don’t preach about terrorism when you keep it breathing and beating.”

On Saturday, an incredible group of young poets and activists from Kuumba Lynx showed Chicago what it means to speak out against the cycle of police torture and genocide. They blew the audience away – and made clear the need for reparations, for making amends. Watch the brilliant performance that won the Louder Than A Bomb team finals, and listen closely.

If you would like to get more involved in the campaign for Reparations for Chicago Police Torture Survivors, please email  justicememorials@gmail.com.

For more information on the ordinance and the Chicago police torture cases check out www.chicagotorture.org.

Project NIA: 2014 Year in Review

In 2014, we at Project NIA continued our efforts to end youth incarceration and to support young people in conflict with the law. We taught hundreds of people through workshops, we wrote reports that reached thousands, we organized direct actions to garner the attention of those in power, we produced curricula that were used to teach thousands, we curated an exhibition that reached hundreds of people, we advocated for policies that will impact thousands across the state and we also collaborated with dozens of partners along the way. Below are some of the highlights of 2014.

We are so grateful to everyone who has and continues to support our work. In 2014, we had hundreds of small donors along with grants from a few Foundations who believe in what we do. We cannot survive without your ongoing support. We have big plans for 2015 and we hope that you will join as we continue to work towards the abolition of the prison industrial complex.

2014 was a year of transition and change for us at Project NIA. In February, we said goodbye to Circles and Ciphers, a project that we helped catalyze and incubated for 4 years. Circles has grown into an independent project and it continues to do inspiring and important work with young people across Chicago. Please support their critical work in the coming months and years. We are proud of all they have and continue to accomplish.

Happy New Year! May 2015 bring us more justice and some peace.

Ending the School to Prison Pipeline

In February 2014, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) released school discipline data broken out by various demographic categories for the first time on their website. This was due in part to our advocacy efforts through the Chicago Student Safety Act Coalition which we convened. The coalition included several allies from across the city. The most recent 2013-14 school discipline data was released by CPS in December.

In April, in collaboration with CPS, we organized and co-hosted a forum on school discipline to gather community input for changes to the CPS discipline code. CPS released a revised discipline policy in June. We continue to offer our input on school discipline policy through the Chicago Collaborative for Supportive School Discipline convened by CPS.

Also, in April, we organized and facilitated a free workshop titled “Understanding the School-to-Prison Pipeline 101” attended by over 40 educators, parents and community members.

In May, we convened and co-organized a Locked Up and Locked Out march and rally as part of the National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth. The march and rally were attended by hundreds of youth and adults from across Chicago. For details about this action, you can read here and see more photos here.

by Sarah Jane Rhee (5/19/14)

by Sarah Jane Rhee (5/19/14)

As part of our ongoing commitment to make data and research accessible to our communities, we developed several fact sheets about CPS suspensions and expulsions in 2014. We also shared data fact sheets from others including the Mayor’s office.

In 2014, the advocacy and organizing of Project NIA and other local groups, including COFIVOYCE, and Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law (CLC), achieved major victories in the fight to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. In October, we released a white paper written by Dr. Michelle VanNatta that documented the gains and as well as some ongoing challenges in creating positive futures for Chicago’s children. The paper can be accessed here.

For the third time in five years, we participated in the Dignity in Schools Campaign’s National Week of Action Against School Pushout (October 4-11). On October 8, with financial support from DSC, we organized an event called Pushed Out: An Interactive Youth-Led Experience of the School to Prison Pipeline in collaboration with Free Street Theater. It was a sold out event with  a performance by Kuumba Lynx and culminated in a light action by the Chicago Light Brigade (photo below).

pushoutlightsirina

Visit our School-to-Prison Tumblr for more information about our week of action efforts, quizzes to test your knowledge of the STPP and other related information.

(more…)

White Paper: The Latest Triumphs and Challenges in the Quest to Shut Down Chicago’s School-to-Prison Pipeline

Project NIA // www.project-nia.org // @projectnia // Facebook

Oct. 4-11: 40+ Cities Hold National Week of Action to Push Back Against Suspensions & Policing in Schools

Project NIA releases white paper on gains and ongoing challenges in organizing to interrupt school-to-prison pipeline (STPP)

CHICAGO 10/3/14 — For the third time in five years, Project NIA is participating in the Dignity in Schools Campaign’s National Week of Action on School Pushout (October 4-11). As an organization dedicated to juvenile justice, Project NIA works diligently to interrupt school pushout, which is often described as the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

by Sarah Jane Rhee (5/19/14)

by Sarah Jane Rhee (5/19/14)

In 2014, the advocacy and organizing of Project NIA and other local groups, including COFIVOYCE, and Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law (CLC), have achieved major victories in the fight to break this pipeline.  The wins include:

1. An agreement from Chicago Public Schools to regularly provide and publish data about expulsions and suspensions
 
2. The passage of SB 2793, requiring all Illinois schools to collect and publish information about school discipline and to create plans for improvements when needed
 
3. Significant enhanced focus on restorative practices in the Chicago Public Schools Student Code of Conduct, along with increased clarity and specificity in the policy

Today, Project NIA is releasing a white paper authored by Dr. Michelle VanNatta that documents these gains and as well as some ongoing challenges in creating positive futures for Chicago’s children. Paper can be accessed here.

Mariame Kaba, Project NIA’s founding director, said: “We and our colleagues across the city are encouraged by the progress that has been made in the past few months to increase school discipline data transparency and to revise formal policies that focused on punishment over learning. There is still much more work to do and more resources to be allocated for that work. These recent victories are just the beginning.”

A Review of Our Spring Legislative Session 2014…

During this legislative session, we at Project NIA, supported some bills that passed while others stalled in the legislature. We also actively opposed one particular bill that stalled in the Senate. Below is a recap.

BILLS WE SUPPORTED THAT PASSED

As a member of the Campaign for Common Sense Discipline led by VOYCE, we supported SB2793 which passed both houses and awaits the Governor’s signature.

SB2793 requires:

1. The public reporting of data on the issuance of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and removals to alternative settings in lieu of another disciplinary action for all publicly-funded schools in Illinois. The collected data would be disaggregated by race and ethnicity, gender, age, grade level, limited English proficiency, incident type, and discipline duration.

2. Illinois School Districts that are identified in the top 20% in the use of suspensions, expulsions or racial disproportionality would have to submit an improvement plan identifying the strategies the school district will implement to reduce the use of exclusionary disciplinary practices, racial disproportionality, or both.

After several years of co-leading Coalition for Juvenile Expungement Reform and leading the Unmarked Campaign, with the backing of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, SB0978 passed both houses of the IL General Assembly. We supported an earlier, more robust version of the bill and organized to collect hundreds of witness slips as the bill moved through the legislature. The final bill is a more modest step but it is a step in the right direction.

If the Governor signs SB0978 into law, it would erase some arrest records for children who weren’t charged or convicted of an alleged crime. These are mere arrests. SB0978 requires the Illinois State Police to delete its arrest records for these minors. The bill excludes alleged sex-related offenses, higher-level felony arrests and those occurring within the previous six months.

The Governor signed SB978 on Saturday. It is now law and here’s what the new law allows:

“Expungement would be limited to most but not all misdemeanors and low-level felonies committed after Jan. 1, 2015; records would only be expunged if the juvenile has not been charged formally with the crime; and this kind of expungement would only apply to those juveniles who have not been arrested for any other reason in a six-month period following the initial arrest. Arrests classified as Class 2 felonies or higher and all sex offense arrests (including misdemeanors) would not be eligible for this kind of “automatic” expungement.”

Here’s attorney Carolyn Frazier explaining SB978 on Politics Tonight here.

BILLS WE SUPPORTED THAT STALLED

We also advocated for SB2760 this session. The bill stalled in the Senate.

SB2760:

Amends the School Code. Provides that (i) prior to being asked any question or being requested to make any statement while in the presence of a police officer, a student must be informed of the right not to answer any question or to make any statement in the presence of a police officer; (ii) prior to being asked any question or being requested to make any statement while in the presence of a police officer, a student must be informed of the right to have a parent, a guardian, or an attorney present during such questioning or request for a statement; (iii) prior to being asked any question or being requested to make any statement while in the presence of a police officer, a student must be informed that any information given in the presence of a police officer may result in an arrest and in the issuing of a summons and may be used in school discipline and in criminal prosecution; (iv) prior to the presence of a police officer during the questioning of a student or of a request for a statement, the school principal shall approve the presence of the police officer during the questioning of or while making a request for any statement from the student; and (v) prior to the presence of a police officer during the questioning of or while making a request for any statement from a student, a parent or guardian of the student must be given notification of the opportunity to be present during the questioning. Sets forth provisions concerning the notification, school principal and police officer consultation, and tracking and reporting data. Effective July 1, 2014.

BILLS WE OPPOSED THAT STALLED

We strongly and consistently opposed HB4775 which passed the House UNANIMOUSLY and thankfully stalled in the Senate.

As passed in the House, HB4775:

Allows a school board to suspend or authorize the superintendent of the district or the principal, assistant principal, or dean of students of a school to suspend a student for a period not to exceed 10 school days or to expel a student for a definite period of time not to exceed 2 calendar years, as determined on a case-by-case basis, if (i) the student has been convicted of (rather than charged with) a violent felony and (ii) the board or, as authorized by board policy, the superintendent of the district or the principal, assistant principal, or dean of students of the school determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. Provides that the board may also authorize the superintendent of the district to immediately refer or transfer the student to another attendance center or alternative school if the student has been charged with a violent felony. Effective immediately.

We oppose this bill on the grounds that it simply feeds the school-to-prison pipeline.

Finally, those of you who support our work know that we spent all last year opposing a mandatory minimum gun bill (SB1342). The bill stalled in the House this session. Instead, the House and Senate passed HJR 96 which “creates the Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee to examine the impact of the current sentencing structure, ensure that the enforcement and punishment of crimes does not disproportionately or unfairly affect certain racial, ethnic, or minority groups, and propose solutions to address the issues that exist within the current sentencing system.”

We believe that the push for a mandatory minimum gun law is not dead and will eventually be resurrected at a later date. We are keeping our eyes and ears open and will be ready to mobilize should it be re-introduced in the Fall session.

We thank all of you for being so responsive to our calls to support and/or oppose various pieces of legislation that we view as either helpful or unhelpful in the struggle to dismantle the PIC. The struggle continues…

What YOU Can Do To Resist Youth Criminalization in Chicago…

Audy Home Campaign Action (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee)

Audy Home Campaign Action (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee)

1. Educate Yourself About Juvenile Justice
a. Find juvenile justice related data and reports.
b. Read juvenile justice related articles.

2. Do you know who your local elected representatives are (alderperson, House representative, State senator)? FIND OUT & set up a time to meet with them to ask what they are doing about youth criminalization.

3. How is your local school doing in terms of school discipline? Does your local elementary and high school rely on harsh disciplinary policies like suspensions and expulsions?
a. Find out about school discipline data by visiting CPS’s website (click the metrics tab to find that data).

4. Educate Yourself About the School-to-Prison Pipeline
a. You can find information at the Suspension Stories website.

5. Demand that Illinois Close More Youth Prisons
a. Learn about and JOIN the campaign to close youth prisons.

6. Keep up with criminal legal system legislation and policies in Illinois
a. Find calls to action at Decarcerate IL.
b. Join Decarcerate IL’s Facebook Page.
c. Keep track of juvenile legal system legislation through the Juvenile Justice Initiative

7. Do NOT call the police on young people.
a. Listen to young people’s stories about their encounters with police.
b. Consider alternatives to calling the police.
c. If a young person is arrested, call First Defense Legal Aid immediately for a lawyer: 1-800-LAW-REP-4 (24 hours a day)
d. Educate yourself about Chicago’s (Hidden) Stop & Frisk.
e. Educate yourself about the history of police violence
f. Host a KNOW YOUR RIGHTS workshop.
e. Organize your own workshop using this new curriculum.

8. Volunteer with AND Donate Funds to organizations that support and advocate for young people in conflict with the law (Lawndale Christian Legal Center, Urban Life Skills Program, Project NIA, Circles and Ciphers, Girl Talk, Fearless Leading By The Youth, Black & Pink Chicago,Free Write Jail Arts Program, and many more…)

9. Advocate that the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center be CLOSED (Toni Preckwinkle has already said that this is her goal).
a. Join FLY’s Audy Home Campaign.
b. Read a concept paper by the Cook County Juvenile Justice Taskforce about closing JTDC.

10. Advocate for Restorative and Transformative Justice
a. Get trained in peace circle keeping.
b. Join the Community Renewal Society’s Reclaim Justice Campaign.
c. Learn about transformative justice.
d. Learn about restorative justice in Illinois.

11. Advocate for alternatives to detention and incarceration
a. Read Project NIA’s report
b. Insist that resources used for incarceration be diverted to support investments in jobs, education, afterschool programs, and more.

12. Learn about the Prison Industrial Complex and Educate Others.
a. Visit The PIC IS for resources
b. Find juvenile justice zines.
c. Invite the Chicago PIC Teaching Collective to run workshops at your workplace, school, church, community organization.

13. Join Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration.

14. Refuse to vote for politicians who demagogue community safety and STOP SUPPORTING THE BUILDING OF NEW JAILS AND PRISONS.

Action Alert: Interrupt the School to Prison Pipeline – Support SB 2793

SB2793 is a key component of the Campaign for Common Sense Discipline. SB2793 creates an improved understanding of school discipline issues by requiring public reporting of data already collected on the use of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, removals to alternative settings, and student retention. SB2793 also requires the school districts with the highest rates of student exclusion, law enforcement involvement, and racial inequity to submit improvement plans to the Illinois State Board of Education, which will provide them with technical assistance.

SB2793 will help keep kids out of jail and in the classroom, where they belong. SB2793 has already passed the Senate, so ask your House Representative to help pass it too!

There are two ways to make your voice heard TODAY on SB2793:

1. SB2793 will be heard in the House Elementary and Secondary School Committee on Wednesday May 14th at 10:30 a.m. Please file a witness slip as a PROPONENT of the bill TODAY.

a. Click HERE to file a witness slip.
b. Fill out your name, address, and phone number. Fill out your “Firm/Business or Agency” if you wish OR write “none.”
c. In Section II, you can write “self” OR the name of any organization that you represent.
d. Select “PROPONENT”
e. Select “Record of Appearance Only”
f. Enter the number it shows in the box, agree to the terms, and click “Create(Slip).” Thank you!

2. Tell your House Representative to SUPPORT SB2793 HERE.

Please make your support of SB2793 known and help spread the word!