Formerly Incarcerated to Rally in Sacramento in “Quest for Democracy”


Over 600 formerly incarcerated people, family members, and allies from all over California will rally Monday, May 20 at the Capitol in Sacramento for  “Quest for Democracy Day.”

The day will consist of an advocacy training, a rally at the South Steps of the Capitol and grassroots lobbying teams that will meet with staff from most California legislator’s offices.

Participants will join allies for the rally outside the Capitol building featuring speakers from many participating organizations, music, poetry, and dance.

Organizers and attendees will promote a slate of bills that would shorten sentences, make police more accountable for their actions, remove barriers to employment, and promote voting rights.

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) and its grassroots organizing project All of Us or None work directly with allies and co-sponsor organizations to advocate for legislation that advances the civil and human rights of people in prison, their loved ones, and the broader community.

This work is primarily lead by formerly incarcerated persons and those directly impacted by the criminal justice system, who work tirelessly to develop effective and humane alternatives to incarceration and punishment.

In 2017, Quest for Democracy helped to pass AB 1008, which expanded “Ban the Box” policies to private employers and removed barriers to employment for over 7 million Californians with conviction histories.

In 2018, Quest helped pass SB 1393, which removed the mandatory five-year sentence enhancement for prior serious felonies from treatment as mandatory and stackable and instead allows for judicial discretion in its application to a particular case.

Quest for Democracy bridges the gap between policy advocacy and community organizing by training formerly incarcerated people, family members, and allies to fight for their rights, while also providing the opportunity to communicate directly with California State Legislators.

“We are tax-paying Californians before, during, and after any state-imposed sentence,” said Dorsey Nunn, executive director of LSPC, “and we demand full access to the machinery of democracy to stay connected to our communities and maintain our humanity.”

“Quest for Democracy Day helps formerly incarcerated people and our families speak truth, regain dignity, and make California a better, safer place for all of us,” said Sandra Johnson, a survivor of incarceration, Q4D Organizer, and member of All of Us or None.

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