July 26, 2018 Press Release

Cynthia Nixon Pledges to Invest in #SchoolsNotJails, Unveils Justice Reform Plan

NEW YORK, NY – Today, outside P.S. 075 Mayda Cortiella, Cynthia Nixon discussed her plan to invest in schools not jails. Last month, Cynthia unveiled her “Schools Not Jails” plan to invest $4.2 billion in our lowest income school districts and to end the school to prison pipeline. The plan also included a $361 million investment to expand pre-k and a plan to make “free college” available to 170,000 additional New Yorkers. Today, she unveiled that plan’s counterpart, Justice For All,  which increases police accountability, speeds up the timeline for closing Rikers, legalizes marijuana, reforms parole, end children’s jail, completely “raises the age,” and eliminates cash bail, among other measures.

“On any given day, 25,000 New Yorkers are held in county jails across the state,” said Cynthia Nixon. “Nearly 70% of the people in New York’s county jails are being held before their trial simply because they cannot afford bail. Eighty percent of the New Yorkers being held pretrial — for months or even years while legally innocent — are Black or Latino. Mass incarceration has torn families apart and decreased the resources our state could be using to actually keep people safe: better schools, universal health care, and good-paying jobs. It’s time for New York’s politics to be as progressive as the people who live here, and our elected officials must rebuild our justice system in a way that reflects that.”

“Our communities desperately need fully and fairly funded schools that give every child the resources they need to thrive,” said state senate candidate for the 18th district, Julia Salazar. “Instead, too many students in districts like mine face inadequate support, exclusionary discipline and encounters with the criminal justice system in schools. This is unacceptable. That’s why I’m proud to stand today with Cynthia Nixon, Council Member Reynoso and Make the Road Action in support of the #SchoolsNotJails campaign to make sure our schools provide a safe and supportive environment for our children to grow.”

“Structural racism is embedded in every level of the criminal legal system and has been forever,” said Make the Road Action Organizer, Kesi Foster. “Ending the mass incarceration and criminalization of Black and Brown communities is never going to happen when all we get from Albany are solutions that address only part of the problem. Being the 49th state to Raise the Age and then failing to completely Raise the Age is not a marker of progressivism. Failing to address the school-to-prison pipeline and introducing legislative policies that fall short of abolishing cash bail, is a failure to put forward the transformative policy solutions we need! Pragmatic steps won’t redress decades of the impact of policies designed to tear apart our communities and separate our families. Cynthia’s platform  and campaign provides New York with a comprehensive vision and a movement capable of dismantling a criminal justice system that has never ensured justice.”

“We commend the vision for the role that the state can and should play on police accountability within Cynthia Nixon’s criminal justice platform,” said Communities United for Police Reform Action Fund spokesperson, Manny Vez. “New York State should be a national leader in ensuring police departments within the state are transparent and accountable to the public they are tasked with serving. It is critical that these issues that so often determine whether people live or die, or remain free, be front and center in our elections and debated by those who seek to represent our communities. We applaud Ms. Nixon’s platform for centering police accountability among many important issues in the criminal justice field and beyond to be debated.”

“Cynthia Nixon has proposed a comprehensive criminal justice reform agenda of the type our communities have been demanding,” said police reform activist, Mark Winston Griffith. “She will hold the police accountable for violent incidents, end cash bail and ensure speedy trials. This is exactly the approach we need.”