For many people, old criminal records that contain felony convictions for low-level, nonviolent crimes have created barriers to stability. Many find it difficult to secure jobs, housing, student loans and other opportunities for economic security and family stability. In November 2014, the state of California passed Proposition 47, also known as the ballot title, Criminal Misdemeanor Penalties. Initiative Statue. The passing of Prop 47 enables people with old felony convictions for simple drug possession, petty theft, shoplifting, forgery, receipt of stolen property, and writing a bad check all under $950, to change those records and remove the felony. Prop 47 also allows individuals to submit a petition to the local courthouse requesting a change to old criminal records. Once changed, individuals, theoretically, will no longer face the lifetime barriers felony convictions create.
Prop. 47 is the largest opportunity in U.S. history for people to change past felony convictions on their records, and as many as 1 million Californians may be eligible. But how and at what pace have things changed since the passing of Prop 47? And what is happening behind the scenes?
In this workshop you will learn about the work the Ella Baker Center is doing to end mass incarceration and criminalization of communities of color by divesting from law enforcement agencies, prisons, and jails and diverting that funding to community programs and services
As the Ella Baker Center's Outreach Coordinator, John works toward building and maintaining collaborations with other organizations, as part of an effort to end mass incarceration and support economic dignity.
Currently, John is involved in Prop 47 reclassification outreach, as well as the campaign to reduce probation terms in Alameda County, divert funding from law enforcement agencies to programs and services that assist people released from prison and jail, and establish accountability and transparency from key decision makers
Being a formerly incarcerated individual, and father of three, John has been a leader/organizer in the community in the areas of ending mass incarceration (Prop 47), community safety (Measure Z), education (Measure N), employment (Revive Oakland, Coliseum City), and building bridges between the different ethnicities and community organizations in Oakland.