PA Race: Williams Rolls Out Justice Reform Platform

Public Advocate candidate and City Council Member Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) today unveiled a 10-page platform to end mass incarceration and the unequal treatment of people of color in the criminal legal system.

Dubbed Justice Reform: A More Equitable NYC,” Williams’ plan incorporates his long history as an activist in civilian/police relations and prioritizes community engagement. It also includes a proposal for the Public Advocate’s office opening satellite offices in the boroughs with the highest number of Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) complaints and gun violence incidents to work to reduce the harm inflicted on these communities.

Jumaane Williams
City Council Member Jumaane Williams

“The problems that plague our communities throughout the five boroughs are no small task to handle,” Williams said. “But I believe that when we engage with the community to implement reforms from the ground up, we can create meaningful, lasting change in New York. Throughout this campaign I’ve talked about how important it is to have an activist as our Public Advocate, and when I am elected I will fight tirelessly for every family in this city.”

The three-pronged platform includes:

 Police Reform

  • The passage of the Police-Stat Act in New York State. This measure increases data collection of low-level enforcement and interaction that take place between police and the local communities of color.
  • The passage of the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA). This has to do with the legalization of marijuana.
  • Repealing 50-a. This measure, 50-a, serves to shield the NYPD from releasing the records of police officers when misconduct is alleged.
  • The opening of satellite offices in areas with highest amount of CCRB complaints and gun violence incidents to reduce the harm inflicted on these communities.
  • Making NYPD disciplinary practices fair, inclusive and effective.
  • Increased staffing and funding of Inspector General’s office.
  • The promotion of greater transparency in data released by the Police Department.
Fixing The Criminal Legal System
  • Ending cash bail and for-profit commercial bail bonds for all misdemeanor offenses.
  • Pushing the courts to use their full discretion on alternative bail.
  • Sentencing reform to encourage judges’ discretion and reduce the chance for immigration enforcement to use our local criminal legal system.
Preventing Gun Violence In Our Communities
  • Expanding the crisis management system and increase its funding.
  • Renewing the contracts that support the crisis management system.
Joining Williams in releasing and supporting the policy papers, were family members of those killed by the NYPD in recent years. This includes Constance Malcolm, mother of Ramarley Graham, killed by NYPD in the Bronx in 2012, Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah killed by NYPD in 2012 and Victoria Davis, sister of Delrawn Small, killed by NYPD in Brooklyn in 2016. He also received the endorsements today from Valerie Bell, mother of Sean Bell, killed by NYPD in Queens in 2006, Iris Baez, mother of Anthony Baez, killed by NYPD in the Bronx in 1994, Natasha Duncan, sister of Shantel Davis,  killed by NYPD in Brooklyn in 2012 and Allisa Charles-Findley, sister of Botham Jean.

Also supporting the measures and at the press conference was State Sen. Julia Salazar (D-Bushwick, Cypress Hills, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, East New York).

“Council Member Jumaane Williams has long demonstrated his commitment to transforming our biased criminal legal system and holding law enforcement accountable,” said Salazar. “During my time as a community organizer focused on these issues, I witnessed how Jumaane has been relentless in standing with New Yorkers and with families who have been harmed by criminalization. I’m thrilled to support Jumaane to be New York’s next Public Advocate because we need someone who will use the office to speak truth to power and demand change, as he has done.

The full plan can be viewed HERE.

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