ystem that locks thousands of people out
of stable employment, bars them from accessing public benefits, and banishes
them from secure housing makes safe and stable communities impossible. Not only
does it ravage the lives of those caught up in the system themselves, it impacts
their friends, families, children, and neighbors as well.
She also recognized what all credible research demonstrates but which almost no
district attorneys in the country will admit: that the best way to reduce crime
and ensure safety is to provide people with employment, housing, education, and
robust public services that enable them provide for themselves, their families,
and their communities. Her vision for a district attorney’s office whose role
was to ensure access to these necessities was a revolutionary approach in the
fight for decarceration in New York.
But this struggle isn’t limited to district attorneys’ offices. Although DAs
exercise enormous discretion over how the law is implemented, they are bound by
parameters set in Albany. They might use the tools they’re given in excessive,
coercive, and arbitrary ways, but those tools are given to them by the state
legislature, and the legislature can take them away. We intend to do just that.
As socialists, we believe that the people should not have to endure the violence
and coercion of a market that regards all that’s necessary for a dignified
life - or even bare survival - as commodities from which the poor and working
class can be excluded if they can’t afford to pay. As socialists, we also
believe that people should not have to endure the violence and coercion of a
criminal-legal system that props up the exploitation of the market by
surveilling, caging, and killing those fighting to survive under capitalism.
That’s why when we’re elected, we pledge to support existing decarceral legislation, including:
- S2101A, to fully eliminate cash bail.
- S6806, to prohibit police from lying to suspects to extract confessions during
- A654/S2253, to repeal the “walking while trans” ban.
- A8230/S6419, to decriminalize sex work.
- A1617B/S1527B, to legalize marijuana.
- A60/S498, to permit safe injection sites.
- A2500/S1623, to restrict the use of solitary confinement.
- S2144, to enact elder parole.
- S6821, to re-enfranchise incarcerated New Yorkers and all those with prior
We also pledge to introduce new legislation to further the project of decarceration in New York by:
- Decriminalizing simple drug possession.
- Repealing all mandatory minimum sentences.
- Reducing maximum sentences with retroactive effect.
- Repeal “bump-up” statutes that allow misdemeanors to be charged as felonies
based on past convictions for which sentences have -been fully served.
- Repealing all sentencing enhancements based on predicate felony convictions.
- Ending police cooperation with ICE.
- Establishing a sentencing reform commission with a mandate to reduce New
York’s incarceration rate to its 1950 level within 10 years.
Finally, we pledge to abide by the principles articulated in the No New Jails Electoral Pledge.
We promise to fight the construction of new carceral facilities and advocate
instead for investment in those communities that have been impacted by mass
New York state spends more than $3 billion every year in maintaining a carceral
system that exacerbates interpersonal violence and communal harm instead of
preventing them. We will fight to divest from that system and invest in
restorative justice instead.
Another world is possible, one where instead of consigning people to the
violence of incarceration, we create space for them to heal and thrive. We’ll
build that world together, starting right here in New York.