Dear Members,

This week has been full of celebration. Thanks to all who were able to join us for our Angel of Peace “family picnic” where we honored the inspiring work of Union Bank, The Fosters TV show, and Patti Giggans of Peace Over Violence. Held outdoors, the weather was perfect, and it was so fun to see everyone smiling and connecting with each other.

This week has also brought the passage of groundbreaking, nation-leading legislation. We so proud that the tireless efforts of VPC members has helped pass over 26 bills this season, including AB 420, removing willful defiance as a category of suspension in elementary schools, AB 1014, the gun violence restraining order, SB 1010 removing the sentencing disparity between powder and crack cocaine, and removing the drug felon ban on accessing CalWORKS and CalFRESH. These are all landmark victories, and we extend our deep thanks to VPC members who made phone calls, wrote letters, sent emails, signed on to letters, testified, spoke up, marched, and rallied.

APTSLast night, our Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network hosted a screening of “A Place To Stand,” a documentary on Jimmy Santiago Baca, who found his voice and his passion in writing poetry while incarcerated. He is now released, married, with children, and he joined us last night to answer questions about his life, the film, and his journey. He encouraged us to raise a beautiful, spiritual ruckus, and I can’t think of a better way to capture the many reasons to celebrate.

In partnership,

A Beautiful, Spiritual Ruckus!