Colored drawing by Anthony Jensen

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Six Reasons to Vote for Me for Sheriff!

1.  I'm the most progressive candidate on ICE.  
  • I am the only candidate in the race dedicated to ending our relationship with ICE. Cooperation/non-cooperation with ICE has been the driving issue in the race, and the majority of the community wants this unhealthy relationship to end. Sally Hernandez has never given details of her merely-inferred stance against ICE, but as the election drew closer and media continually pinned her down, she admitted she'd cooperate on a "case-by-case basis." But now she's moving even further towards full cooperation. An article today quotes her as intending to not "honor every request," which certainly sounds like she will cooperate with ICE in most instances! AND she now plans to negotiate with ICE on her new policy! This means she's only slightly more progressive on the matter than the Republican candidate who wants to strengthen the relationship, and is actually less progressive than the Libertarian!
2.  I'm the most progressive candidate on the drug war. 
  • I'm the only one who has spoken about decriminalization; the only one who has spoken about ending the practice of offering 100% of drug offenders confidential informant status; the only one who will lobby for funding to build short and long-term housing for drug and mental health rehab; and the only one promising to immediately change policy in the department to require deputies practice "maximum discretion" to NOT arrest for marijuana possession, going well beyond the current "cite and release" policy we have now (which still results in fines & convictions).
3.  I'm the most progressive candidate on race relations.
  • No other candidate has promised to implement any training in regards to race relations. I have: the well-regarded "Undoing Racism" course. No other candidate has said they would monitor, red flag, and discipline deputies who don't get their racial profiling numbers down. For instance, if they search vehicles of African-Americans at three times the rate as whites...then action WILL be taken. Studies show whites/blacks use drugs at the same rate AND that blacks don't carry drugs in the car more than whites -- in fact, a recent DPS study shows they carry less!
4.  I'm the most progressive candidate on containing our jail population.
  • No other candidate has discussed not putting people in jail that don't need to be there except in terms of those needing mental health services. That's easy...even law enforcement associations agree with that at this point (and guess who's funding Hernandez?). I'm the only candidate talking about ending all arrests for individuals who do not pose a public safety threat; e.g., jaywalking, expired drivers license, public intoxication, warrants based on an inability to pay fines, etc. Ticketable offenses don't require taking up expensive space in our jail. This would be a mandate to APD too--the Sheriff runs the jail; she sets the rules.
5.  There is no chance I will collude with prosecutors to convict the innocent or protect the guilty (police, politicians, etc).
  • I'm not "BFF's" with the District Attorney's office. I was not "Chief of Investigations" for the DA for 8 years, so I don't have chummy relationships there that could serve to melt away the proper law enforcement/prosecutorial line that is supposed to protect due process. We already tend to see the standards of prosecutorial investigations loosely applied when prosecutors need law enforcement for the evidence and law enforcement needs prosecutors to convict, so they rarely challenge the other's questionable methods. 
6.  I'm the only community organizer in this race...I can't be bought!
  • I believe I am actually at an advantage by not having a badge already (you don't have to be a licensed peace officer to run for Sheriff in TX), because, given my long history of police accountability activism, and the trust I've built with my community, people know I won't hide behind the blue shield if elected, nor will I tolerate deputies that do.