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Executive Director, Jason McGill: A Letter on Proposition 2023-4 Jail Tax.

Greetings Love Warriors,

Today, I write to you with a sense of urgency and a deep concern with the ongoing struggle for our collective liberation. The fight against racial injustice and the pursuit of equality is a battle that has been waged for centuries, and it is far from over. As we reflect on the history of oppression and the tireless efforts of activists throughout the years, it is evident that we must continue to stand together, amplify marginalized voices, and work towards a future where true liberation is realized.

I have deep concerns about the plans to construct a new jail in our community. As a concerned citizen, non-profit leader, and advocate for our collective liberation, I firmly believe that investing in alternatives to incarceration is not only morally imperative but also crucial for building a safer and more equitable society.

Our legal system is in dire need of reform. Over the years, our community has witnessed a troubling rise in incarceration rates, leading to overcrowded facilities and the perpetuation of a cycle of punishment rather than rehabilitation. Building a new jail will only exacerbate these problems, diverting valuable resources away from effective solutions that address the root causes of crime and support individuals in reintegrating into society.

Our friends from the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center posed the question: “can you imagine a Whatcom County where we say “yes” to every young person asking for safe and affordable housing?”

To answer this question, we must confront and unlearn the biases and prejudices that have been ingrained within our community. We must ensure that accurate and inclusive histories are taught, shedding light and the impact of our collective struggles on shaping this community. Empathy, understanding, and cultural sensitivity are essential in fostering a community that values and respects all its neighbors.

Instead of expanding our jail infrastructure, I urge you to consider alternative approaches that emphasize prevention, rehabilitation, and community support. These alternatives include investing in restorative justice practices, diversion programs, community-based sentencing, and strengthening social services that address the root causes of criminal behavior.

By investing in these initiatives, we can create a legal system that is fair, effective, and compassionate. Together, we can build a society that values the dignity and well-being of all individuals, while promoting safer communities.

Furthermore, we must actively challenge and dismantle the structural systems that perpetuate racial inequality. This includes reforming the criminal legal system, addressing economic disparities, and ending discriminatory practices in housing, education, and healthcare. We must listen to the experiences and demands of marginalized communities and work to implement policies that address their specific needs.

In solidarity, let us come together to fight for our collective liberation and work towards a future where equality and justice prevail. The path ahead may be long and arduous, but together, we can create lasting change.

With Love,

Jason McGill | Executive Director


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