St. Louis is voting for its mayor today. Tishaura Jones and Carla Spencer are vying for the office in a runoff that will shape the city’s future from policing to housing. The Appeal has covered the election’s historic stakes for months. Here’s what you should know:
Two progressive candidates, Jones and Spencer, grabbed the two runoff spots back in March. The result was spurred by years of grassroots organizing, as activists have coalesced around concrete demands from closing a local jail to protecting tenants.…
At stake in this election are calls to reduce police violence. Advocates want the new mayor to divest from the “arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate model,” and invest in actually making people safer. Ending cash bail has emerged as a key area of contrast.…
The candidates have each pledged to close the city’s notorious jail, The Workhouse. Tishaura Jones wants to decriminalize offenses such as sex work; Cara Spencer wants to end the contract to house federal detainees.…
The mayor will have the power to appoint and oversee public safety officials. Joining a growing wave of cities across the country, the next mayor should shift mental health and substance abuse responses away from police and towards non-police alternatives.…
Both candidates say they will deploy a strategy to reduce gun violence called focused deterrence, but advocates warn that this could risk devolving into another punitive policing tool rather than addressing the root causes of violence.…
St. Louis is in a housing crisis as thousands of renters face an eviction cliff. Tishaura Jones was the only candidate who endorsed extending an eviction moratorium. She and candidate Spencer have supported using federal funds to provide rent relief.…
Just days ahead of the election, The Appeal found that real estate interests are trying to influence the race by donating substantial amounts. “I think the money tells us where priorities lie more than anything else,” says an advocate.…
Kayla Reed of Action St. Louis spoke on Appeal Live about the urgency of confronting these issues. The simultaneous divestment from low-income communities and over-investment of policing has caused a cycle of resource extraction, she said.
The Appeal profiled Carla Spencer and her vision of St. Louis.

Spencer said: “We’re facing a moment of crisis and opportunity. We have crises on a lot of fronts. But we have a lot of opportunity in front of us as well."…
The Appeal also profiled Tishaura Jones.

Jones said: “We’ve been making incremental changes. I want to do some really transformational changes.” These changes include ending cash bail and addressing the root causes of violence.…
Both of the St. Louis candidates, Tishaura Jones and Cara Spencer, also joined Appeal Live ahead of the primary to discuss housing, public safety, and a guaranteed income.
The polls close at 7pm local time. Follow the Appeal to learn the result later tonight.

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More from @theappeal

1 Apr 20
BREAKING: The Federal Bureau of Prisons will quarantine incarcerated people in every institution in their cells for 14 days to decrease the spread of the coronavirus. “This based on health concerns, not disruptive inmate behavior.”… Image
During the lockdown, the BOP says incarcerated people will have access to facilities like laundry, showers, and other services “to the extent practicable.”…
Isolating people in their cells isn't true "isolation," either. As outlined in a 2012 Government Accountability Office report, the BOP's formal rated capacity depends heavily on crowding more people into the same cells.… ImageImage
Read 4 tweets
20 Mar 20
BREAKING: In a letter to President Trump, Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Elizabeth Warren outline a plan for urgent executive action to reduce the federal prison population in light of COVID-19.…
"We have grave concerns that without urgent action it is just a matter of time before our nation’s correctional facilities and detention centers, and the detainees and correction officers who live and work in them, are devastated by this pandemic,” they write.
The Pressley-Warren proposal includes commuting sentences of older and medically vulnerable incarcerated people; providing early release to those with less than a year remaining; and releasing anyone held on a pretrial basis.
Read 4 tweets
25 Feb 20
BREAKING: In a 5-4 opinion, the Supreme Court rules that the family of a 15-year-old boy from Mexico killed by a Border Patrol agent in a cross-border shooting cannot sue for damages.…
Citing concerns about how allowing the boy's family to sue might affect foreign relations and national security, Justice Alito, writing for a five-member conservative majority, says “it is not our task” to arbitrate between the United States and Mexico.
In dissent, Justice Ginsburg argues that where the boy was standing—on which side of the border—when the agent shot him should be irrelevant: “Plaintiffs target the rogue actions of a rank-and-file law enforcement officer acting in violation of rules controlling his office.”
Read 4 tweets
22 Aug 19
Nearly 70,000 people in North Carolina could not vote in 2017 because of a state law that prohibits people from voting while on felony probation or post-release supervision, according to a new report released today from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (@SCSJ). 1/6
@scsj In NC, @SCSJ conducted a 100 county survey to determine how probation officers inform people about their voter ineligibility. The results suggest that many probationers likely do not know that they are not permitted to vote. 2/6
@scsj Though it is far from clear that people who are on felony probation know that they are ineligible to vote, people are prosecuted on felony charges in North Carolina for “voting while ineligible.” @huffpost’s @srl covered a few recent cases here.… 3/6
Read 6 tweets
17 Apr 19
Recently @theappeal published the story of Brittany Smith who says she was brutally raped twice the night she killed the man responsible. She's now charged with murder & facing life in prison.

There are many women like Brittany Smith.…
She is one of many women to survive physical & sexual violence only to be punished by the criminal legal system. @theappeal has told some of their stories.

Cyntoia Brown was 16 when she killed a 43-year-old man who picked her up for sex in self defense.…
Since Cyntoia Brown's case garnered national attention she has been granted clemency and released from prison, drawing attention to other women in similar situations, such as trafficking survivor, Alexis Martin.…
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7 Apr 19
Last week, @nytimes published a few photos from more than 2,000 sent to @splcenter by someone identifying as a guard at an Alabama prison, deciding the majority were too horrific to publish. These are some of the photos @nytimes chose not to print.…
"I can’t help but wonder if the public knows just how bad these men are treated."

Person identifying themselves as prison guard in letter accompanying more than 2,000 photos from inside an Alabama prison sent to @splcenter.…
Conditions in Alabama's prisons are notoriously bad. Homicides are 600% higher than the national average. People are placed in solitary confinement not for disciplinary infractions, but to maintain order.…
Read 7 tweets

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