Tell Gov. Christie to Sign this Civil Rights Bill — S677/A3677!
[UPDATE, 7/24/17: Thank you to everyone who contacted the governor! Gov. Christie approved this bill with slight changes (a process known as a conditional veto). The revised bill is approved by ACLU-NJ and the Drug Policy Alliance. Now the bill must be approved by the state legislature. Contact your state representatives and urge them to approve the revised racial impact statement bill! ]
New Jersey is poised to become only the 4th state in the country to enact a racial impact statement law that would help protect the civil rights of communities of color. Bill S677/A3677 passed in both the state Senate and Assembly with strong bipartisan support! Now we need Gov. Christie to sign it! Call him at 609-292-6000, email him here, or write to: Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625.
Your talking points:
- You want all New Jerseyans to be treated equally under the law.
- In New Jersey, people of color are arrested for petty crimes at higher rates than white people, and have a much higher incarceration rate than white people. This is unacceptable.
- S677/A3677 will help us avoid passing any new laws that increase the already high racial disparities in the criminal justice system in New Jersey.
- Democrats and Republicans voted for this bill — and now Gov. Christie needs to sign it!
Did you know that New Jersey ranks in the top 5 states for racial disparity in incarceration? The black-to-white incarceration ratio is 12:1! The ratio is even worse in the juvenile justice system — black youths are 24 times more likely to be confined in detention facilities. Our state is also home to racial disparities in arrest rates for petty crimes, with people of color 2 to 10 times more likely to be arrested than whites, depending on what city they live in. A recently passed bill seeks to ensure that state law no longer leads to racial disparity in our criminal justice system. Bill S677/A3677 will require a racial impact study to estimate how each new criminal justice bill would affect people of color.
Racial impact studies at the state level are needed now more than ever, in the wake of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ directive to pull back on suing police departments for civil rights violations and his push to bring back harsher sentencing for low-level drug offenders.
Bill S677/A3677 has now passed in both houses of the state legislature with very strong bipartisan support, including a unanimous vote in the Senate! Organizations around the state have voiced their support: ACLU NJ, NAACP NJ, Drug Policy Alliance, the Unitarian-Universalist Legislative Ministry of NJ, Not in Our Town Princeton, Salvation and Social Justice, and the 20,000 members of AME Churches in New Jersey. Add your voice to the chorus of support for S677/A3677, and tell Gov. Christie to SIGN THAT BILL!here.