Final push to pass police accountability bill

By | September 29, 2020

I am forwarding a message from Ending Mass Incarceration Together.


Sent: Monday, September 28, 2020 8:31 AM
To: EMIT-Mass@googlegroups.com
Subject: A phone call to your legislators is crucial for reforming police practices in Massachusetts

Dear Participants in Ending Mass Incarceration Together,

I urge you to call your State Representative, your State Senator, Speaker DeLeo, and Senate President Spilka regarding legislation for police reform which is now in conference committee.

HOW TO PHONE YOUR LEGISLATORS:

You can Google the name of your Representative or Senator or find their phone number here:

https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

State Senate Pres. Karen Spilka is at 617-722-1500. Speaker of the House DeLeo’s number is 617-722-2500.

PHONE SCRIPT:

My name is (give them your name). I am a constituent from (name of your city or town) I urge you to support the reforms detailed in the September 24 letter sent by Black leaders and clergy from across the Commonwealth. (The legislators will have received a copy of the letter). Please urge those in the Joint Senate House conference committee to vote out legislation that will bring meaningful reform of police practices in our state. In this time of Black Lives Matter and police violence against Black People the legislature needs to take a strong stand.

If you can speak with your legislator in person that is great. Often the best we can do is speak with an aide and that is important as well. If you can’t make a personal phone connection please leave a message on the answering machine. They count the number of calls that come in!

If there is an opportunity for further conversation, here are points to cover which are in the letter from Black leaders: Limits on Police Use of Force; Civil Service Exam Commission; Limits on Qualified Immunity; Ban Racial Profiling and Require Date Collection for all Stops: Expungment of Criminal Records for young people.

CONTEXT FOR THE CALL:

Recently the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others have led to demonstrations in cities and towns across the country.

In response, members of the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives passed bills for police reform. The bill passed by the Senate was pretty strong. The one passed by the House – not so much. Three House members and three Senators serve on a conference committee to work out the differences. We want the bill that will be brought back to the House and Senate for a final vote to be as strong as possible.

Police unions and their supporters have organized to prevent meaningful reforms. They have done extensive lobbying and paid for full page ads in the newspapers. We understand they have made over 2,000 phone calls to oppose worthy reforms. We need to match the power of the unions with our own phone calls. Indeed we need to surpass what they have done.

Black clergy and Black leaders are calling for their allies to step up and make phone calls on Monday September 28 and Tuesday, September 29 to create a wave of support for reform that will get the attention of our legislators. Imagine the impact if all 700 participants on our mailing list make a call!

Thank you, Bill Gardiner – Ending Mass Incarceration Together