“The root cause of sex work is poverty. Poverty is a state-generated problem; the state pushes people into sex work by denying them access to a safety net and then arresting them as sex traffickers”
Author: Kaye Kory
One of the responsibilities of the General Assembly that I have been focusing on more and more over the past several sessions is criminal justice reform.
On July 7th, Sean Perryman, President of the Fairfax NAACP and I signed an open letter to Governor Northam requesting that he approve the repurposing of the $4.7 million annually allocated to support SRO’s across our state.
Bijan should not have lost his life. Tony should not have been imprisoned with no hope of parole. Real people like Bijan and Tony and their families are victims of an unforgiving and racist system. We have an opportunity now to change — we must take it.
As you know, the case numbers in Virginia have increased all over the state. As a consequence, we will meet in person in Richmond and follow up with virtual hearings, committee meetings and votes.
In these unsettling and crisis-driven times, we struggle to hear the divergent opinions and voices raised.
The press of absorbing the moment-to-moment changes can be exhausting without even attending to the troubling subject matter: a lethal pandemic, an economic crash, black lives matter and ‘defund’ the police. How to respond?
Our prison system, here in Virginia, and across the country, was not built to accommodate women and hasn’t changed very much even as the numbers of women inmates has increased substantially.
I believe that elected representatives have a particular responsibility to lead by example, particularly in crisis situations.
We are facing a very consequential election in a little less than a month with many campaigns asking for attention and help — our money, our time — and all described as “Urgent!”