Thanks to the powerful work of Women on the Rise, Racial Justice Action Center, and the nearly 40 organizations in the Campaign Alliance, Mayor Keisha Bottoms today echoed our message in her State of the City Address this morning stating:
"In the spirit of One Atlanta, we look forward to converting our City jail from a building designed for mass incarceration to one that will provide access to opportunity for those who need it."
This comes just a few weeks after John Legend tweeted support for the #CommunitiesOverCages #CloseTheJailATL Campaign, specifically thanking Mayor Bottoms for the community-driven process and encouraging her to include formerly-incarcerated people in its redesign.
We agree formerly-incarcerated people should be at the helm, which is why Women on the Rise, a group of formerly-incarcerated women, is leading this campaign with the Racial Justice Action Center and why we're writing legislation for a Design Team to determine the future of the building.
But in order to realize this vision and for Mayor Bottoms to truly become a Woman on the Rise, we still need her commitment, and the commitment of the full City Council, to:
Fully defund the Atlanta City Detention Center for 2020;Ensure that the funds saved are reallocated back into the community through the Design Team to prioritize #HealthcareNotHandcuffs, #ServicesNotSentences, and #JobsNotJails;
Work with City Council to make all city ordinances non-arrestable offenses;
Work closely with the Atlanta Police Department to shift standard operating procedures to de-prioritize arrests for state traffic violations to continue to #StarveTheBeast and reduce the jail's population from 70 to 0.
Can you help us maintain the pressure? Consideration a donation to the Racial Justice Action Center and Women on the Rise so we can continue the fight and stay tuned for our next hearing in City Council!