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GA Greens: Save taxpayer dollars by cutting jail costs

(Distributed by the Green Party of the United States)

Georgia Green Party

http://georgiagreenparty.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

For further information, contact:
Bruce Dixon, 678-298-9463 x3
bdixon@GeorgiaGreenParty.org
Press Secretary, Georgia Green Party

Greens Demand Real Reductions in Incarceration Costs Reject Deal Reforms which Fail to Challenge Racist Impact

After last week praising Governor Deal’s expressed concern for the wasted lives, drained treasury and depleted workforce left in the wake of the nation’s war on drugs, Georgia Green Party leaders today rejected Deal’s specific proposals.

“None of this will meaningfully impact the budget, end the state’s social control of non-violent and victimless behaviors, nor undermine the racial caste system created by our current policy,” said Hugh Esco, Secretary of the Georgia Green Party. “The state’s disparate enforcement and prosecution of the drug use of working people while ignoring that of wealthy people costs our communities in ways far beyond those mentioned by the Governor the other day. The impacts are as venal as Jim Crow.”

Governor Deal is quoted as saying: “For violent and repeat offenders, we will make you pay for your crimes. For other offenders who want to change their lives, we will provide the opportunity to do so with Day Reporting Centers, Drug, DUI and Mental Health Courts and expanded probation and treatment options. As a State, we cannot afford to have so many of our citizens waste their lives because of addictions. It is draining our State Treasury and depleting our workforce.”

Greens have criticized Georgia’s policy of mass incarceration, which rises to the level of recreating a racial caste system. As so well documented in a recent book on the subject by Michelle Alexander, it is legal to discriminate in matters of housing, public assistance, education, employment, participation on a jury and voting for those labeled criminal. And a series of Supreme Court decisions have made it impossible to effectively challenge the disparate enforcement, prosecution and sentencing which leads to the disproportionate
incarceration of black men and the immigrant community.

“The cost savings proposed by the Governor are a fraction of what we might enjoy were we to actually address the real harm caused by our rush to lock up our neighbors,” said Bruce Dixon, Press Secretary of the Georgia Green Party. “Most of the costs of this misguided policy are born by the families and children and communities of those we lock up. Deal has not even offered much here for the taxpayers. We had hoped for more.”

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Background:

Georgia Green Party
Georgia Green Party/Challenging Mass Incarceration

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Greens mourn the passing of Billy McKinney, Cynthia’s father

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders expressed sadness and sympathy for the family of former Georgia State Rep. James Edward “Billy” McKinney, father of Cynthia McKinney, after his passing on Thursday, July 15, following a long illness.  He was 83.

Billy McKinney served as a state legislator in Georgia for 30 years.  Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party’s 2008 presidential nominee and a former six-term Georgia member of the US House of Representatives, also served in the Georgia legislature.  They became the first father-daughter duo in the Georgia House when Ms. McKinney was first elected in 1992. Continue Reading

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Green Party mourns Njere Alghanee, national leader in the movement for reparations

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders, mourning the recent death of Njere Akosua Aminah Alghanee (‘Sister Courage’), national co-chair of National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA, http://www.ncobra.org), reaffirmed the party’s dedication to reparations for the descendents of enslaved Africans in the United States.

On June 24, Njere Alghanee had just returned from the US Social Forum in Detroit with plans to attend the annual meeting of N’COBRA in New Orleans the next day when her life was taken in a tragic auto accident.  June 24, 2010 was her 58th birthday.

“The Green Party, especially the party’s Black Caucus, has had a strong alliance with N’COBRA and has supported the demand for reparations.  We send our condolences and solidarity with Sister Courage’s family, friends, and fellow leaders in N’COBRA.  We honor her leadership,” said Alfred Molison, candidate for Houston City Council, District C (http://votealfred.com).

Members of the Green Party in attendance at the US Social Forum and the Green Party’s Annual National Meeting in Detroit heard the news on June 25.  The Detroit meeting began a process of considering revisions to the Party’s national Platform; including an amendment offered by the Georgia Green Party and the Green Party Black Caucus on which Ms. Alghanee had been consulted, to strengthen language supporting reparations already in the Green Party Platform (http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/socjustice.html#999024). Continue Reading

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Georgia Greens fight environmental racism of proposed nuclear sites

From Bruce Dixon at Black Agenda Report:

Can a black president be guilty of environmental racism? President Obama’s new proposed nukes are in one of the poorest areas east of the Mississippi. Burke County Georgia is majority black, the home of existing commercial nuclear reactors and directly across the river from the Savannah River nuclear weapons facility. Its river is the 4th most polluted in the nation, and its residents are suffering a veritable epidemic of unexplained cancers, with no local, federal, public or private funds available to test their air, soil, water or environment for its causes.  But Burke County’s residents are neither silent nor powerless. Continue Reading

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Campaign consulting firm for Green candidates established

Former Green Party national co-chair Greg Gerritt of Rhode Island, Green Party mayor of the Village of Greenwich, NY and national party web manager David Doonan and Campaign Foundations and Georgia Green Party co-founder Hugh Esco have founded a new business to help Greens running for office win their elections.

This business, a cooperative, will focus on helping Greens with a wide variety of tasks associated with elections. Taking on such varied responsibilities as helping assemble campaign management teams, starting a fundraising program and website design, the cooperative intends to offer these services to Green candidates at as low a cost as possible. They also intend to offer services in ballot access petitioning.

Gerritt sent GPW a more detailed statement of the cooperative’s plans, which can be read by clicking this article’s headline.

Continue Reading