Dear Friends of EPOCA,
We are proud to have just celebrated our 10th Anniversary. Thank you to the many people who came out for this great event and donated to our cause.
This past year, the Jobs NOT Jails Coalition grew to 136 participating organizations, we staged a big rally on Boston Common and wrapped 46,643 Jobs NOT Jails petition signatures around the State House.
In the new year, we will engage thousands of people in mass trainings and high-profile direct actions, to build upon the unstoppable wave of support we have garnered.
Together, we will guide the evolution of our society from one characterized by suffering and mass incarceration to one of freedom and self-sufficiency, where employment and a living wage is available for everyone.
Our allies in California have succeeded with Proposition 47, where many felonies have been dropped to misdemeanors, which will release thousands of people from prison. The resulting savings from reduced incarceration will be tracked and funneled into three important services: truancy prevention; victims’ services; and treatment for mental illness and addiction.
Right now, we are drafting radical new legislation to enact a series of criminal justice reforms and divert millions of dollars away from prisons into job training programs, social enterprise and co-op development.
Beyond changing laws, we seek a wholesale shift in consciousness: to end the dehumanization that underlies mass incarceration and economic exclusion. This is what the Jobs NOT Jails Movement is about.
The work ahead will be joyful, but it will require sacrifice as well. Last year, EPOCA members and staff spent over $20,000 on in-state travel. This year we expect to log even more miles, as we reach out to inspire action and train leaders across the state, from the Berkshires to Barnstable. Our staff and leaders will train with the experts at Movement Mastery and will pass these vital organizing skills along to you, our allies in this movement.
Our heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you who have donated to EPOCA and made it possible to come all this way in just ten years.
If you haven’t yet, we hope you will consider making a tax-deductible donation to EPOCA this year. Your gift will make all the difference, to keep us on the road and build further momentum across the state.
Delia Vega & Steve O’Neill, Co-directors
Checks can be sent to:
4 King Street
Worcester, MA 01610
Join us at our next Jobs NOT Jails Community Meeting on January 31, 2014. Details to be announced….
EPOCA’s office will be closed for the holidays!
We will be closed from Monday, December 22nd until Monday, January 5th.
Happy New Year!