Last spring, The Nation launched its biweekly student movement dispatch. As part of the StudentNation blog, each dispatch hosts first-person updates on youth organizing. For recent dispatches, check out October 14 and October 24. For an archive of earlier editions, see the New Year’s dispatch. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with tips. Edited by James Cersonsky (@cersonsky).
1. The Youth Vote
For the past three months, youth from Californians for Justice organized statewide for passage of Proposition 47, aimed at reclassifying six nonviolent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and reallocating money saved into K-12 programs and mental health and drug treatment. Currently, California spends $62,300 per prisoner versus $9,100 per student. Through phone-banking, door-knocking, outreach and social media, we reached thousands of voters. Prop 47 was not only about putting an end to the school-to-prison pipeline but about giving our communities a second chance at life. Family members of mine suffer from hopelessness because of felony charges for petty crimes. Now that 47 has passed, black, brown and low-income families have opportunities to lead better lives, attain housing and financial aid and access good jobs, bringing us one step closer to justice and an end to institutional racism.
2. The Ferguson Repeal
On October 27, Miami’s Power U Center for Social Change joined Dream Defenders, the Ohio Student Association and the Organization for Black Struggle for #Ferguson2Orlando to demand a fundamental shift in the way police relate to our community away from programs like Department of Defense program 1033, which provides police departments surplus military weapons to govern our community and schools. Together, we demonstrated outside the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s annual convening demanding the demilitarization of police departments and repeal of the 1033 program. Moving forward, alongside the Miami Committee on State Violence, we seek restorative solutions for justice.