Voting Rights for People on Parole: Proposition 17

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Voting Rights for People on Parole: Proposition 17

Voting Rights for People on Parole: Proposition 17

Proposition 17 was a ballot initiative on the November 3rd, 2020, California ballot. It passed with an overwhelming majority and restored voting rights to every person who completed their prison term in California. Now, around 50,000 Californians who return home from prison and are working, paying taxes, and positively contributing to their communities can now vote on every level of government to shape systems that affect them and their families.

Initiate Justice was a lead organization on the Yes on Prop 17 campaign, mobilizing our outside organizers on parole who were directly impacted by this issue to lead our Communications efforts, and sending postcards to our 30,000+ inside members informing them that Prop 17 would be on the ballot so that their family members would be aware and vote Yes on 17. This campaign showed the power that our community has to be at the lead of a statewide campaign and increase rights and freedom for those impacted by incarceration.

Background on Prop 17

Prop 17 is the outcome of ACA 6 and AB 646, two bills that successfully passed through the CA legislature in 2020. On June 24th, 2020, the CA Senate voted with a 2/3 majority to place ACA 6 on the November ballot. Both were sponsored by the Free the Vote Coalition, led by Initiate Justice, ACLU of California, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, League of Women Voters of California, People Over Profits San Diego, Vote Allies, and White People for Black Lives.

ACA 6 and AB 646 were introduced by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and were proudly co-authored by Assemblymembers Carrillo (D-Los Angeles), Bonta (D-Oakland), Gipson (D-Carson), Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Kalra (D-San Jose), Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles), Stone (D-Monterey Bay), Weber (D-San Diego), Mullin (D-South San Francisco), and Senator Wiener (D-San Francisco).