THE SANFRANCISCO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION HOSTS “THE HUMAN RIGHTS IMPACT OF THEWAR ON DRUGS”
(San Francisco, CA.) Coinciding with the 40thanniversary of the War on Drugs, on Thursday, April 12, 2012, at 5:30pm, theSan Francisco Human Rights Commission will join the national conversation ondrug enforcement policies and practices in the United States by hosting“The Human Rights Impact of the War on Drugs.” Taking place at SanFrancisco City Hall, this public hearing will focus on the impact the War onDrugs has had in San Francisco and document testimony from criminal justiceexperts, direct service providers, and community based organizations.
Last year on April 14, 2011, the Human Rights Commissionvoted unanimously to join the Reentry Council of San Francisco and send aletter to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the Mayor urging them todevelop and enact legislation to prohibit discrimination in San Franciscoagainst people with prior arrest and/or convictions. Since that time, HRC hasbeen examining the barriers faced by persons with arrest and conviction recordsand listening to small business owners, housing providers, anti-violencegroups, and civil rights advocates on this issue.
“This hearing is a part of our continuing effort toconduct education and outreach on the “Unfinished Agenda” Reportand the discrimination of persons with criminal records and itsdisproportionate impact on the African American and Latino communities,”said SF Human Rights Commissioner Sheryl Davis. “We’re finding alot of people want more accurate information, particularly about drug arrestsand convictions. Through this hearing and the report that will follow, we hope toparse out concerns, myths, biases, and facts about the criminalization ofdrugs.” According to Executive Director Theresa Sparks, “Across thecountry, religious leaders, community organizations, public safety experts,Republicans, and Democrats are examining how effective the War on Drugs hasbeen. People are asking questions about the impact it has had on families,crime, neighborhoods and civil rights. We hope to explore those impacts in thishearing.”
The HRC has invited speakers from the American CivilLiberties Union, the Youth Commission, All of Us or None, the Immigrant LegalResource Center, and the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice among others,to attend and give testimony. In addition, the HRC is actively seekingcommunity members to share their stories and recommendations in public comment.