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Incarceration or Restoration?

We are facing a crisis with our youth in our community. Paul Mitchell of Political Data, a firm that analyzes voter data, stated (of the November 2014 election) “In California, an 18- or 19-year-old was more likely to be arrested this year than actually vote in one of the statewide elections.” The dropout rate in Oakland is 37%. At some high schools, the dropout rate is 47%.

We believe that restorative justice programs disrupt the school to prison pipeline. We believe that youth, especially, should be afforded the opportunity to dismiss incarceration and choose restoration.

We believe that the federally-funded projects that come to Oakland and the surrounding areas should include provisions to attack the lack of hope felt by youth of color in our communities. For every $1 billion invested, 13,000 jobs are created. Our youth deserve good-paying, career-path jobs.

California received $3.6 billion in FY2014 in federal transportation money. Genesis believes that the most vulnerable in our communities—the youth, immigrants, low income people, those formally incarcerated—should have the opportunity to get hired on these jobs. For too long, they have been left out of the career-path jobs. We have joined with Gamaliel in building ourJustice for Youth Platform:

  • We want transparent, meaningful public participation process. For too long, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (our local MPO) has had free reign over allocating billions of tax payer dollars while the public is left out of the planning processes.

  • We want minority, youth and women to be included in the local hire provisions.

  • We want ½ of 1 percent of the federal funds to be mandated towards training programs in local communities for people of color and women. It is here that the excuses are removed as a robust, educated cohort of apprentices and trainees can be made job ready.

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