This morning I feel compelled to tell you the reason I support #PassSB21_62. But to tell you is to share with you the story of my paternal grandmother, Wilma: A THREAD: (1/13)
I am the descendant of Wilma Loretta Howard. The most important thing you should know about Wilma is that she loved her family and would never turn her back on them, especially her children. Like some Black families during the ‘90s, ours was impacted by drug addiction and (2/13)
the ancillary issues associated with it: mental health problems and low-level offenses of public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and loitering, which usually meant that my uncles would go through the revolving door that is the criminal legal system multiple times (3/13)
Time and again whenever one of my uncles would land in a cage, my father would receive a phone call from my grandmother, asking for money to help pay for their freedom. And sometimes our family would come up with the money for bail (4/13)
It wasn’t easy, but let me ask you: do you think a Black woman like my grandmother, who spent years cleaning the baseboards of white folk’s homes on a fixed income, had the extra funds to sink into paying for her sons’ freedom? (5/13)
Money that could have been better spent getting her children the help they needed to recover or to improve her own life? And there would be times when we couldn’t come up with the money to free our uncles, so they had to sit in a cage until their next hearing date (6/13)
I remember weekends spent in the parking lot of the Denver County Jail on Smith Rd. while my dad went inside to deliver fresh socks and underwear because that was all we could do. Because we don’t turn our back on family. Ever. (7/13)
SB62 does many things. Passing this bill would address the overpolicing of our neighbors who aren’t a public safety risk. But this bill would also alleviate some of the stress many families face when they try to scrap together the funds (8/13)
to get their loved ones out of cages by decreasing the use of cash bonds. I would like to think that if a bill like this was passed during the ‘90s when my grandmother was alive, she would have been able to focus on the issues that really mattered (9/13)
Like supporting her children through the disease of addiction. Or a nice vacation on the beach. I don’t ever think I remember my grandmother having enough money to ever do something nice for herself. (10/13)
There are moments as a social justice activist where I tailor my message to what I think people want to hear, versus speaking my truth or what people NEED to hear to understand what is at stake. (11/13)
This morning I had to remember WHY I do this work, regardless of how difficult or at times demoralizing it can make you feel. But the work will get done because what else do we have to do, but fight? I hope you are willing to join me and (12/13)
the countless of community members who have come out in support of #PassSB21_62. Find your reason for supporting SB62 and follow @PassSB21_062 to get all the info you need to take action. Thank you for letting me share this important memory with you. (13/13)

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