Take Action on These Bills–NOW!

New Jersey residents: Please note these important bills are either scheduled on Tuesday, May 18 or need to be scheduled, so time is of the essence!

Actions to take:

  1. Restorative and Transformative Justice for Youths and Communities Pilot Program Bill A4663

This bill needs to be voted out of the NJ Assembly Appropriations Committee. It has not been scheduled to be voted on when the Committee meets this Tuesday the 18th. Please take action right away!

Through the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, click here to tell Speaker Craig Coughlin and Assemblyman John Burzichelli to put it on the May 18 hearing schedule.

Background:

This bill will set up a two-year pilot program in four major NJ cities: Camden, Newark, Paterson, and Trenton, that would create programs that will help many kids who have recently been released due to the COVID risk behind bars and other kids in our communities who struggle under ordinary circumstances, but are even more challenged in the current health and economic environment. The programs will emphasize psychological and emotional safety and healing for youth, their families and their communities.

  1. New Jersey’s Fair Chance in Housing Act (S250/A1919)

The Assembly version of this bill needs to be strengthened by adding back the remedy for anyone discriminated against and needs to be voted out of the NJ Assembly Appropriations Committee. It has been scheduled to be voted on when the Committee meets this Tuesday the 18th.  Please take action right away!

Through the Religious Action Center of New Jersey, click here to urge your legislators to support the Fair Chance in Housing Act (S250/A1919).

Background:

New Jersey’s Fair Chance in Housing Act (S250/A1919) is a first-in-the-nation proposal to address racial disparities in incarceration and mitigate discrimination by prohibiting landlords from asking whether a potential tenant has a criminal history on an initial application for housing.

New Jersey has the nation’s most severe racial disparities in incarceration: Black people represent more than 60 percent of the state’s prison population, despite constituting only 14 percent of the state’s overall population. The racist policies and practices of the criminal justice system contribute to racial inequity in other aspects of society. Returning citizens face immense barriers to finding stable housing, which contribute to high levels of recidivism and create a “revolving door” between incarceration and homelessness. This vicious cycle fuels racial disparities in homelessness and housing insecurity: in New Jersey, Black people experience homelessness at a rate more than six times higher than that of white people.

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