Youth Opportunitie Act Update

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Youth Opportunities Act Legislative Alert

By Mercedes Elizalde
Children’s Campaign Fund Board Member
Political Strategy Committee Chair

There was a great hearing Monday,February 24, 2014.

Children’s Campaign Fund board member and former legislator Mary Lou Dickerson testified that, in order for the juvenile justice reforms made in the last two decades to truly have a chance, we must take this step.

We need to make another push in Senate.

The bill must get out of the Human Services and Corrections Committee by Friday, February 28, 2014 to stay alive. That Committee’s last meeting is on Thursday, so time is very short.

Now is a critical time to contact legislators.

Please tell them why records need to be automatically prevented from publication and sale. More specifically, tell them the current system, where someone can hire an attorney to go in and seal after 2-5 years and after paying court fees and fines that could cost tens of thousands of dollars, is unfair, and denies youth a second chance in adulthood to live a better life. Focus on why this would improve public safety and the economic outcomes of the individual and the greater community. This bill is consistent with the policies and practices of 42 other states.

We need as many voices as we can get support to this bill, but we know legislators respond most to individuals who live in their district. So if you live in these areas: Spokane Valley (Sen. Padden), West Pierce County (Sen. O’Ban), or Snohomish County/Monroe (Sen. Pearson) you can make the biggest difference!

Chair Senator Steve O’Ban steve.o’ban@leg.wa.gov District 28 R Phone: (360) 786-7654

Senator Mike Padden mike.padden@leg.wa.gov District 4 R Phone: (360) 786-7606

Senator Kirk Pearson (Vice Chair) kirk.pearson@leg.wa.gov District 39 R Phone: (360) 786-7676

NOW IS MAKE-OR-BREAK TIME! Thank you for your efforts!