Weekly Update - February 28, 2019

In this issue...

Taking Action in CT and NY: Katal Lobby Days

Happy Birthday to Katal

Taking Action in CT and NY: Katal Lobby Days 

Our Director of the Women and Girl's Project, Donna Hylton, alongside Katal members KiKi, Nancy Sicardo and Curtis Bell, Kerry Kennedy, DeAnna Hoskins (JLUSA), Senator Brian Benjamin, and Senator Jamaal Bailey at the rally in support of overhauling pre-trial injustice.

 

We've been busy this week. Yesterday in New York, our members, leaders, and staff rallied at the Capitol for bail and speedy trial reform, with hundreds from groups including: Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, VOCAL-NY, JustleadershipUSA, RAPP, and more. 

As part of our actions yesterday, Katal Community Organizer Cedric Fulton facilitated a workshop on criminal justice reform and building awareness and support for our bill to reform technical violations of parole  #LessIsMoreNY  sponsored by Senator Brian Benjamin and Assemblyman Walter Mosley. Our members were able to share their stories with lawmakers and generate support for the bill. 

 

Katal members and allies including Kiki, Nancy Sicardo and Curtis Bell at the Capitol in Albany.

 

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, Katal members, leaders, and staff were at the Capitol in Hartford with our members and leaders reviewing policies and procedures, demystifying the Connecticut Statehouse and Legislative Office Building through tours, and planning future actions.

The group ran into State Representative Robyn A. Porter and shared with her the work we've been doing around reforming policies and procedures for Halfway Houses and Department of Corrections (DOC). Our member, Cherell, shared her personal experience in relation to these institutions, with her son.

 

Katal's Connecticut members and leaders pose on the steps of the Connecticut Statehouse after a successful day at the Capitol in Hartford.

 

Additionally, Katal member, Odette, spoke in front of the Labor and Public Employees Committee on HB 6921, an act concerning discrimination based on a person's criminal history. Joined by her husband TJ in the audience, she told the committee how necessary it is to stop discriminating against people who "have made mistakes in the past." Furthermore, she pointed out that “Black and Hispanic people face discrimination even without criminal records. It makes it even harder for people from those communities to secure necessities such as housing and employment when they have a criminal background. Therefore, we need to prohibit discrimination based on a person's criminal history.”

Odette spoke with confidence, and was supported by State Rep. Robyn Porter who agreed. “We need to stop criminalizing people for their past. We don’t live in the past," Porter stated. "We live in the present and I think those folks should have a level playing field when they come home."

It was truly a powerful day in Hartford and Albany for our team as we fought for parole, bail, discovery, speedy trial, and DOC policy reform. And the work is NOT done.

If you'd like to join us to end mass incarceration in Connecticut and New York contact:

Kenyatta Thompson at kthompson@katalcenter.org or (860) 937-6094

Cedric Fulton at cfulton@katalcenter.org or (518) 406-8226

 


 

We launched three years ago this month, and are moving into the next year with energy, resilience, and deep resolve. Thank you for your support! We're excited to build with you in the years to come! 

With all the best,

The Katal Family


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