On Tuesday, November 10th Build Programs, Not Jails delivered this open letter to Pattsi Petrie and the Champaign County board outlining requirements many feel are necessary for the success of the recently passed Racial Justice Task Force.
If your organization or Church would like to sign onto this letter please contact Build Programs, Not Jails.
10, November 2015
Open Letter to Chairperson Pattsi Petrie and the Champaign County Board,
We the members of the undersigned organizations acknowledge your recent efforts to create a Racial Justice Task Force as a positive step. After a straw vote, followed with an official vote and decision to form a Racial Justice Task Force, we write to reiterate the importance of an inclusive task force, share our concerns with regards to the authority of the chair of the Board, and state further recommendations in regards to the Racial Justice Task Force.
Maximum community involvement and opportunities for community leadership in the Racial Justice Task Force are essential .To this end, if the county board wants the task force to produce viable recommendations that have the support of the impacted communities, they must take steps that maximize participation by African Americans. Therefore, we strongly recommend that task force members be chosen via an open application process with final selection to be done by a committee of three board members, at least one a person of color. Moreover, African Americans must constitute at least 50% of the task force and the chair must be an African American, to be elected by fellow task force members.
Finally, we believe the Racial Justice Task Force must:
- hold public hearings in impacted African American communities to solicit the stories and recommendations of people most impacted by the racial disparities in the criminal justice system
- focus on the racial disparity in the criminal justice system in the county.
- not include any members of law enforcement or the judiciary
- not be comprised of more than 13 members
- include at least one person of color who has been previously incarcerated
Black Lives Matter, Champaign-Urbana Chapter
Central Illinois Chapter, Progressive Democrats of America
Champaign County Young Democrats
Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice (CUCPJ)
Graduate Employees Organization Solidarity Committee
North End Breakfast Club
Build Programs, Not Jails