When it Comes to Fighting for Affordable Housing, Criminal Justice Reform, Elections Matter

Nov 9, 2018

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Tuesday marked an historic election — with voters taking to the polls on a number of community-led ballot measures on housing affordability and criminal justice reform.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was proud to support some of these efforts, and we congratulate our partners for their work on these and other important campaigns around the county.

Housing Affordability

In California, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative supported Prop 1 and Measure V in San Jose, which aimed to build more affordable housing. We also supported Non-Profit Housing Action, which worked primarily on Props 1 and 2.

With the passage of Props 1 and 2, tens of thousands of affordable housing units will be built for veterans, working families, people with disabilities, and other Californians experiencing homelessness or struggling to find a safe and affordable home. These measures help to address our housing shortage among the most vulnerable while strengthening our economy.

Our partners across the San Francisco Bay Area also passed local affordable housing bond measures in Berkeley and Napa resulting to build more low income and workforce housing.

Criminal Justice Reform

In Ohio, a diverse and dedicated coalition mounted a campaign to pass Ohio Issue 1, to provide more treatment and rehabilitation for people who commit nonviolent crimes. While this measure did not pass, we’ve been greatly inspired by the diverse and dedicated coalition of Ohioans fighting for criminal justice reform in the state. Their efforts signal a renewed interest in tackling public safety and the drug epidemic, and have paved the way for new approaches to reform down the road.

Organizations led by formerly incarcerated individuals launched successful efforts in communities around the country to restore rights for people with criminal convictions and make the justice system fairer and more accountable. In Florida, a bipartisan coalition restored voting rights to people with criminal convictions. In Louisiana, our partners at FWD.us supported a successful effort to pass a requirement that all jury verdicts for felony convictions be unanimous. And communities around the country elected reform-minded prosecutors focused on reducing incarceration and backing common-sense public safety efforts.

These efforts show what is possible when people come together to make positive change in their communities.  We are inspired by them and the impact their dedication will have on the lives of countless Americans.

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