Vote Local: #VoteYouthJustice
By Marcy Mistrett, CEO
Justice is local and voting matters. The health of a democracy rests on the ability and interest of its citizens to vote. Yet, the U.S. history on voting rights is spotty.
The Campaign for Youth Justice joins the many other national organizations and movements in calling for our local communities to come out and VOTE in local elections; because voting for youth justice matters.
While public safety often makes it onto the public polls and local political platforms, we spend a lot less time reimagining justice for our young people. However, by getting local candidates to talk about youth justice as part of their platforms—we can hold them accountable to a more fair and balanced justice system.
In fact, three out of four people in local courtrooms, local District Attorneys, Sheriffs, and Judges, are all elected. Elections present a great opportunity to help change the narrative about our young people who come in contact with the law.
We recognize that local elections matter, and will spend the next year raising awareness in states about local government and how their decisions directly affect our daily lives, especially when it comes to policing and public safety of our most vulnerable population, our children.
Our parnter, Youth First Initiative put out an excellent resource on what 501-C3 organizations can and can do for electoral advocacy, so as you plan, be sure to check out this great resource!
Throughout the year CFYJ will be sharing stories of local groups making a difference in getting out the vote, opportunities to take action, and tools to get youth justice integrated into candidates’ platforms.
The message is resonating--voters are scrutinizing their local criminal justice systems, and are realizing how much power these positions have. District Attorneys, Sherriffs, and Judges make the day-to-day decisions of what cases to pursue, what charges to press, and who gets a second chance.
Join us and Take Action! You can help mobilize the field by sharing pictures of young people and families participating in legislative sessions through personal testimony, asking questions at town hall meetings, meeting with candidates. Just upload and tag #VoteYouthJustice.