Most people don’t know this, but at the age of 15 I ran away from home. The likelihood of being a success in life was low and I did not have the support network that most children grow up with. However, I am one of the lucky runaways. I was given a second chance and access to opportunities to finish school and succeed.
Too many of our children are ending up in jail and on probation. How we enforce minor, non-violent offenses contributes to this growing problem. As someone who has benefited from second chances, I believe our kids deserve the same opportunity I was given.
As Democrats we must work to ensure that every young person, no matter their skin color, is able to get an education and prepare for the jobs of the future instead of being funneled into the school to prison pipeline. We must change the laws that disproportionately effect people of color and focus our resources on property crimes and violent offenses.
In Travis County, African-Americans are three times more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana. However, marijuana use among youth of all ethnicities is evenly distributed. The difference is clear and how we enforce possession of marijuana cases must change.
Join me as I work for a more fair and equal criminal justice system.