Newsflash:
Rob Zerban End Mass Criminalization Civil Rights Groups Re-Launch Virginia “Mobile Justice Tour” to Highlight Voting Rights Restoration, “Ban the Box” Fair Hiring Policies, and More
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 00:34

Civil Rights Groups Re-Launch Virginia “Mobile Justice Tour” to Highlight Voting Rights Restoration, “Ban the Box” Fair Hiring Policies, and More

Written by  Lillie Branch Kennedy

Following the success of their initial series last summer, a coalition of civil rights groups is partnering again for a 10-city tour of Virginia to raise awareness around justice issues that affect people with criminal records, and to provide direct services. Called the Mobile Justice Tour, the event re-launches on Saturday, December 14, with a focus on three key issues: civil rights restoration for citizens with felony convictions, removing questions about an applicant’s criminal background from initial employment forms, and sentencing reform to end mass incarceration in Virginia.

Host organizations for the Mobile Justice Tour include Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged (RIHD); Bridging the Gap in Virginia; Virginia Organizing; Advancement Project; and Justice Policy Institute. The tour’s second go-around, however, is fueled by ordinary citizens – college students, members of church groups and other individuals across Virginia – who requested additional stops in their cities.
 
“The first Mobile Justice Tour was so successful, it inspired everyday Virginians to reach out to us and proactively bring this information and these resources to their own communities” said RIHD Executive Director and tour co-moderator Lillie Branch-Kennedy. “Last time, in city after city, we found so many people were simply unaware of laws and policies that can empower them. From the new process for automatic voting rights restoration, to the statewide momentum toward ‘ban the box’ employment application reform, folks had no idea about available alternatives for changing their lives. This tour empowered people just by providing the information, and we look forward to hitting the road again.”
 
At each stop of the tour, legal and policy experts will discuss:
 
·      Restoration of Rights: There are two ways for people with felony convictions to get their rights back, depending on whether one’s conviction is classified as “nonviolent” or “violent.” The MJT will explain how to register and apply for both processes, as well as discuss recommendations for further streamlining these policies so they can reach more impacted people.
 
·      “Ban the Box” Employment Application Reform: Since the first Mobile Justice Tour, the governments of two more cities, Petersburg and Virginia Beach, have passed policies to remove the question about an individual’s criminal history from the initial employment application. The MJT will advocate for other Virginia governments and private businesses to “Ban the Box” and reduce barriers that prevent our community members from finding work.
 
·      Mass Incarceration & Successful Re-Entry: Even as crime has decreased in Virginia, the state’s drug violation policies, as well as its approaches to sentencing and parole, have led to a mass incarceration crisis of crowded jails and prisons. The MJT will advocate for solutions including a reduced focus on drug offenses, increasing the threshold for Virginia’s grand larceny felony (to account for inflation) and reinstating parole. Policy experts will also propose prisoner re-entry legislation for the 2014 General Assembly session, including prisoner educational, therapeutic and vocational rehabilitation.
 
“With a new governor coming into office next month, and the start of a new legislative session, this round of the Mobile Justice Tour is also an opportunity to illuminate specific policies that demand action from our elected officials,” said Richard Walker, founder and CEO of Bridging the Gap in Virginia and co-moderator of the tour. “With the 8th highest jail incarceration rate in the nation, and a felony disenfranchisement law that continues to strip the right to vote from more than 370,000 Virginians who have completed their sentences, Virginia’s justice system needs an overhaul. It is our hope that Governor-elect McAuliffe will show leadership on these issues to end mass incarceration and help reintegrate individuals back into our communities.”
 
Mobile Justice Tour stops include:
 
·      December 14: Danville
Danville Library, 511 Patton Street, 9:30 am – 1 pm
 
·      December 17: Harrisonburg
Main Street Library, 174 Main Street, 6 – 8 pm
 
·      December 18: Hampton
Main Library, 4207 Victory Blvd., 6 – 9 pm
 
·      December 19: Norfolk
Garden of Hope Community Development Corp., 1317 East Brambleton Ave., 5 – 8 pm
 
·      January 4: Richmond
Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, 1720 Mechanicsville Turnpike, 9 am – 3 pm
 
·      January 9: Reston
Martin Luther King, Jr. Christian Church, 11400 Northshore Drive, 6:30 pm
 
·      January 11: Lynchburg
Lynchburg Public Library, 2315 Memorial Ave., 12:30 – 3 pm
 
·      January 16: Ferrum
Ferrum College, Franklin Hall/Blue Ridge Meeting Room, 6 – 9 pm
 
·      January 18: Fredericksburg
Central Rappahannock Library, 1201 Caroline Street, 10 am – 3 pm
 
·      January 28: Petersburg
William R. McKinney Library, 137 Sycamore Street, 4 – 7 pm
 
For more information and latest news, visit www.restorationcampaign.org and follow @va_mjt on Twitter.

Read 6372 times

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

Latest News from the Zerban Campaign

  • Meet the Man Who's Trying to Force Paul Ryan to Look for a Real Job
    Meet the Man Who's Trying to Force Paul Ryan to Look for a Real Job

    Once again, Koch brothers cash will face off against a people-powered campaign in Wisconsin this November. The race is for a House seat in the first Congressional District, a seat now held by Paul Ryan. His challenger – the first serious challenge he's faced in 14 years in Congress – is Rob Zerban, a restaurateur and County Commissioner.

    Written on Sunday, 02 September 2012 17:49 Read more...
  • The Real Cost of the Ryan Budget
    The Real Cost of the Ryan Budget

    Everywhere I go during my campaign — parades, farmers markets, even the local deli — I keep hearing the same thing from Wisconsin voters. “We need real representation,” they tell me, “representation that’s focused on the people and what we need.”

    Written on Thursday, 09 August 2012 19:51 Read more...
  • Zerban Submits 230% of Required Nomination Signatures Today
    Zerban Submits 230% of Required Nomination Signatures Today

    "The message is clear: Paul Ryan must be held accountable for his 14 years of failed decisions"

    Written on Saturday, 02 June 2012 01:34 Read more...
  • A Man Who Looks Paul Ryan's Storm Dead in the Eye
    A Man Who Looks Paul Ryan's Storm Dead in the Eye

    "He had a minor in economics," Rob Zerban says of his opponent. "What experience does he have to say that he's the great budget oracle?" "The people of the First District can see where that budget impacts their lives. Their bridges start to crumble. We've got 16 bridges on federal highways alone in the district that have been declared structurally deficientm and that doesn't include county and local municipal bridges.

    Written on Friday, 27 April 2012 01:52 Read more...
  • Rob Zerban Has My Vote in 2012
    Rob Zerban Has My Vote in 2012

    Typically during an election cycle, it often comes down to voting for the lesser of two evils. You choose the one who supports the issues most meaningful to you – or at least doesn’t outright defy them. It can be difficult to encounter a candidate who personifies the conviction and integrity you would imagine only in a perfect political world.

    Written on Sunday, 15 April 2012 18:11 Read more...
  • Rob Zerban Statement on Paul Ryan’s FY2013 “Path to Poverty”
    Rob Zerban Statement on Paul Ryan’s FY2013 “Path to Poverty”

    Today, Rob Zerban, Democratic Congressional challenger to Congressman Paul Ryan, released the following statement in response to the introduction of Paul Ryan’s FY2013 “Path to Poverty” budget.

    “In yet another misguided handout to Wall Street at the expense of Main Street, Congressman Paul Ryan today introduced his latest budget plan, designed to place the blame for his 14 years of poor decisions squarely on the backs of our hardworking families.

    Written on Sunday, 15 April 2012 18:07 Read more...
  • WI-01 Rob Zerban Campaign Kickoff Tour Highlights
    WI-01 Rob Zerban Campaign Kickoff Tour Highlights

    When I began this campaign, I made a commitment to serve as a voice of the people- not of corporations.

    I have been putting that into action. In the last few weeks, I have been working overtime to kickoff my campaign with rallies across the district.

    Written on Monday, 12 March 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • John Nichols: How Rob Zerban forced Paul Ryan to defend Internet freedom

    The American Civil Liberties Union, Free Press and the Save the Internet campaign have made it clear that the Stop Online Piracy Act poses a genuine threat to human rights advocacy and whistleblowing on the Web.

    Written on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 00:00 Read more...

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of