Racial Justice Groups Denounce Gov. Scott’s Power-Grab - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Racial Justice Groups Denounce Gov. Scott’s Power-Grab

In Amicus Brief, Racial Justice Organizations Decry Scott’s Move as Effort to Criminalize Communities of Color

Washington – In response to Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s attack against Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala and the will of the Floridians who elected her, community organizations decried Scott’s overreach and his efforts to criminalize communities of color. Following a media conference call this morning, the organizations also released an amicus brief they filed in the Florida Supreme Court today denouncing Scott’s effort to impede prosecution reform and address Florida’s criminal justice crisis.

Organizations signing on to the amicus brief released the following statements:

Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director, Advancement Project’s National Office:

“Florida’s criminal justice system is one of the country’s worst – ranked 10th in the country for its state imprisonment rate. The people of Florida are pushing for change and electing Aramis Ayala State Attorney in Orange and Osceola counties was one of those changes. Black and Latino voters were especially seeking a reform agenda. Governor Scott has overstepped his authority, removing her from 23 cases and substituting his political leanings for the will of the voters. The right to vote for representatives of choice is fundamental. Scott’s power grab undermines our democracy and threatens reforms necessary to fix the broken criminal justice system.”

Francesca Menes, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Director of Policy and Advocacy:

“In Central Florida and beyond, we have seen an unacceptable increase in criminalization practices. Whether it’s executive orders that raid our communities or criminalizing practices that destroy futures, Floridians of all backgrounds are standing firm to send a message. Our people elected who we wanted and we will not tolerate the governor imposing his will over the voices of the people.”

Chardonnay Singleton, Dream Defenders:

“Since the murder of Trayvon Martin, the voters in Florida have sought to create an environment in which the criminal system serves them and not special interests. That is reflected in the election of Aramis Ayala. Our communities strive to create a criminal justice system that is more human, more reflective of our communities and more transformative. Governor Scott’s actions are an attempt to block these efforts.”

Miles Murain, Jr., Let Your Voice Be Heard:

“Let Your Voice Be Heard worked to turn out the vote in 2016. Our communities came out enthusiastically to elect Aramis Ayala, a candidate whose views resonated with our desire for criminal justice reform. Governor Scott is not just stripping Aramis Ayala of her power, he’s stripping Florida’s voter of their power as well. We will not accept this attack on our democratic process. We will fight and show again that Orlando, Tallahassee and the whole state stands with Aramis Ayala and the criminal justice reforms she espouses.”

Rashad Robinson, Executive Director, Color Of Change:

“Black voters made history in November electing Aramis Ayala because the community understands we are at a crossroads. Just this last election we partnered to do hundreds of thousands of voter contacts to put bad prosecutors on notice and to start shifting the narrative. Voters translated this urgency into power that made real change. By overreaching against Ayala, Governor Scott joins a long, ugly history where Black people are told that their political participation doesn’t matter and can be voided. We will not be turned away, we will not be stopped. We will continue to stand with Aramis Ayala.”

Monica Russo, SEIU 1199:

“On behalf of 55,000 active and retired workers – 3,000 of whom live in Orange and Osceola Counties – our members love and revere Aramis Ayala. Many of our folks are Black and Brown women – health care workers, bus drivers, airport workers. They fight for voting rights and healthcare and living wages. Many of them sleep with one eye open making sure their loved ones come home in one piece. We depend on DA Aramis Ayala. We have her back and we are proud to stand in support of our sister.”

###

KEEP READING

Advancement Project Turns 20

Movement Lawyering Conference Freedom Now! Freedom Forever! Celebration The 2045 Project Advancement Project Giving Circle THIS IS NOT A GALA – It’s a movement! We’re putting the racial justice event of the year together and you’re invited to attend! On Thursday, October 17, 2019, we will celebrate 20 years of progressive racial justice movement work with an event beyond any gala. This is for the people! Join Advancement Project National Office…

Read More
Advancement Project Turns 20

Movement Lawyering Conference Freedom Now! Freedom Forever! Celebration The 2045 Project Advancement Project Giving Circle THIS IS NOT A GALA – It’s a movement! We’re putting the racial justice event of the year together and you’re invited to attend! On Thursday, October 17, 2019, we will celebrate 20 years of progressive racial justice movement work with an event beyond any gala. This is for the people! Join Advancement Project National Office…

Read More
The Voting Rights Saga in Florida Continues

Judith Browne Dianis testifies at Congressional Hearing on the State of Voting Rights in Florida “As we’ve learned in Florida, it’s too late after the vote is taken and counted to protect the civil rights of people of color.  And the problem is, the federal government is not watching.” On Monday, May 6, 2019, Advancement Project National Office testified before the U.S. House Committee on Administration in Miami during a hearing on the status of voting rights in Florida. As Judith Browne Dianis, our executive director, detailed in her testimony, Florida is a battleground in…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office: ‘We Must Shed Light on Discriminatory Voting Practices Now’

National Civil Rights Organizations Launch WeVoteWeCount.org to Collect Stories of Voter Suppression, Drive Change Ahead of 2020 Presidential Election.

Read More
Because Justice Never Takes a Day Off

On April 28, 1999, Advancement Project National Office opened its doors. We were bright-eyed, yet already seasoned, ready to take on voting rights with a racial justice lens. We were winning cases and building a movement right out the door. Now that we have been addressing not only voting rights, but immigrant justice, criminal legal system issues and education justice for 20 years, some may ask what are we doing today to ensure the country’s next 20 years are freer for people of color? Glad you asked.

Read More
Amendment 4 Implementation Bills Are Yet Another Effort to Silence Voters

Florida lawmakers are intent on passing legislation that will undercut the passage of rights restoration for Floridians with prior felony convictions. Florida deserves better. Advancement Project National Office stands with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) in opposing any Amendment 4 legislation that creates additional barriers to voting for Returning Citizens who would otherwise be eligible based on the passage of Amendment 4. Any legislation proposed should neither limit the rights created by Amendment 4 nor infringe upon the will of Florida voters. Florida’s current completion of sentence standard is built upon three basic components: A person has completed…

Read More
JP Morgan Chase Takes Stand on Banking Private Prisons

On JP Morgan Chase’s decision to no longer finance private prison giants GEO Group and Core Civic, Advancement Project National Office released the following statement: “Advancement Project National Office would like to thank those who have been relentless in their activism to hold corporate America accountable, explaining the harm these companies are causing individuals, families and generations – particularly immigrants of color and people of color who are disproportionately incarcerated in private prisons. We hope to see a wave of more corporations divesting from companies that are making money off us human bodies. It’s time that the U.S. notice the…

Read More
Close the Workhouse Campaign Holds Rally to Demand Release of Men Trapped in the Workhouse

Following reports of extreme cold and continued inhumane conditions at St. Louis City’s jail, the Workhouse, advocates gather to demand the release of David Dixon and Jeffrey Rozelle

Read More
Close the Workhouse

Kicking off the national movement to end pre-trial detention and end the country’s reliance on incarceration starts on a local, grassroots level.

Read More
Voting Rights Restoration

The time is ripe to fundamentally reform our democracy.

Read More