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California

Action Alert for CA: Write AB 2839 letters now and show up on May 9

As our article on California Assembly Bill 2839 described (you can refresh your knowledge by clicking this link),  this bill would disenfranchise hundreds of men who are otherwise eligible to vote and have been designated sexually violent predators at Coalinga State Hospital.

Please fax a letter to Assembly Elections Committee Chair Marc Berman at 916-319-2194 as soon as you can and before May 9. Please use this as a model, but do not copy it word for word. Also, be sure to include your name and address:

 

Senator Marc Berman, Chairman
Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee
1020 N. Street, Room 365
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Assembly Bill 2839 – OPPOSE

Dear Chairman Berman:

The purpose of this letter is to request that you and all members of the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee vote “NO” on AB 2839. That bill is currently scheduled to be considered by the Committee on May 9.

As currently written, AB 2839 would have the effect of preventing up to 1,300 patients at Coalinga State Hospital from voting in city, state and federal elections. That is because the bill would require patients to vote at “the last known address of the person before his or her commitment” to Coalinga State Hospital.

The requirement for a patient to vote at his or her last known address prior to commitment defies logic for several reasons. First, most patients at Coalinga State Hospital have been incarcerated or confined for 20 years or more and are no longer legal residents at their last known address. Therefore, it is unlikely that they would be able to vote at those addresses.

Second, most patients at Coalinga State Hospital will reside at that hospital for the rest of their lives. Therefore, if they are unable to vote in elections where they currently reside, they will be unable to vote in any election. Third, all patients at Coalinga State Hospital are directly affected by votes taken pertaining to the City of Coalinga, which annexed the hospital more than 10 years ago, such as the City’s recent failed sales tax increase. If the City of Coalinga’s tax increase had passed, the patients would have paid more for the goods and services they purchase at the hospital’s convenience store, fast food restaurant, copy center, barber shop and other related businesses.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. As stated above, we strongly urge that all members of the Elections and Redistricting Committee vote “NO” on AB 2839.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Join the discussion

  1. Michael R. Sumners

    You know, frankly, I can see restricting the right of the people in a Coalinga type of situation regarding LOCAL voting. No matter the type of institution it is. Because you are not REALLY a member of that community.

    But yeah, in that case you also have to remove the effect the local election will have on them. To use the tax increase example, you just simply make it a law that such an increase does not apply to those people and items sold in house to them are not subject to the tax.
    Kind of like the way it is, or at least was from my time, of things being sold on military bases to military personnel and their dependents at the PX.

    But to disenfranchise them beyond that kind of local thing, i do not agree with that.

    • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

      Detainees in Coalinga are citizens of the U.S. who have served the entirety of their prison sentences and, under California law, HAVE the right to vote in the place where they are domiciled and that place is Coalinga. They don’t live anywhere else. They don’t take up space anywhere else. Their sole recourse for seeking justice is through the courts of Fresno County despite the fact that offenses committed against them have been ignored by the local police and district attorney and they are denied medical care by the local clinics and hospitals. Yes, they ARE really members of that community though they are locked-in their homes and not allowed to leave. If you are locked in your house it doesn’t mean that you no longer are a member of the community in which you reside, it means your rights are being violated. They’re not in the military temporarily outside of the U.S. and away from their domiciles where they can vote and where provisions are made for them to vote remotely in those elections. Think it through.

    • Joe

      The second they paid local sales tax on one pack of gum in the “hospital” store they REALLY became members of that community.

  2. Joe

    “Your voting residence is within your State of legal residence or domicile. It is the true, fixed address that you consider your permanent home and where you had a physical presence.” (https://www.fvap.gov/info/laws/voting-residency-guidelines)

    If they were to vote in the place where they resided BEFORE confinement in Coalinga, this would constitute voter fraud as they had no physical presence there in years and no expectation of returning. If such a prior residence were considered a valid domicile, that would be felony Failure to Register.

    The only way to keep them from voting in the local Coalinga elections would be to prohibit them from voting, period – as persons incarcerated in state prison. But that does not work as all of them have completed their criminal sentences and they are “patients”.

    This is a ginormeous fustercluck any way you look at it.

  3. David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

    It should be noted in your letters that Detainees in Coalinga HAVE tried to register to vote in the counties of their original convictions. They have all been REFUSED by those counties and told that they must register to vote in the jurisdiction where they now reside. That is actually the correct interpretation of voter registration residency laws. So if they are unable to vote in those counties AND the state of California removes their ability to register as voters in the one county where they DO reside, Fresno, then they are being disenfranchised by the state with no recourse to exercise their constitutional right.

    • Tim Moore

      Thank you David, your information helps me write the letter..

  4. Roger

    Please write! I will, even though this bill won’t affect me.

    Maybe you are thinking, “Why take the time to write just to help a few hundred fellow sex offenders?”

    Well, if we followed that self-serving philosophy for every action alert, our impact would be much smaller.

    So ask yourself: If I’m unwilling to help the SVPs in Coalinga, why should I expect others to write and fight against bad bills that affect me?

    United we can do what we could never do alone.

    • Tim Moore

      I like your post, Roger. Solidarity, not about you or me but us, so I will write a letter.

      • Roger

        Tim, I’m glad to be working for change together with you and the other letter writers! It’s fine to blow off steam when we complain about the unfair crap that is happening, but we also need to show up, stand up, and speak up.

        I hope you and all those who read this will also be sitting with us May 9 in the committee hearing. They really are impressed when we each say, “My name is ___ from [city], and I strongly oppose this bill”. Easy! No speech needed (or even allowed!). Yet it impresses them when we show up!

        • dph

          Im not going all the way up to Sac again w/o someone’s phone Rog., Janice’s was just v/m. I wasted $ I didn’t have, hell, I’m not even employed, yeah I was late but no one at the reg lunch nor sbux place after1100 nor cafe upstairs either.a
          Not fun. I req you are someone to call or write have your or someone no. Next time still no response.
          Cant support when we cant gain support just to meet on arrival. Safety committee was still in session but no chair, just tier bill writer and rest of them in same rm.

  5. Gwen

    I mentioned this topic with 3 people who were shocked to learn of the inhuman treatment of these citizens housed at Coalinga. They all wrote short and simple letters. They addressed the fact that these patients have served their time, are still citizens and deserve their constitutional right to vote. Hope this helps.

  6. PR

    My letter opposing AB 2839 is in the mail.

    • Janice Bellucci

      Thank you all for writing letters! Your letters provide a foundation of support for those who attend and participate in the hearing on May 9. We appreciate you and your efforts!

  7. Mr. TDAL

    What disturbs this registrant the most is that no real PROTEST IN D.C. has occurred on this issue. Is there a chilling effect from SOR in play? If all were to show up be near 1 million. Only those locked up or on P&P could be restricted. So what gives with this populations ability to defend themselves as a group? Are they actually waiting for a powerless court, as is evidenced by the stall in Michigan & Colorado. Has the police state become so powerful with the aid of databases to overcome.

    The two parties have spent trillions on public safety yet real evidence of a more perfect society evades realization. We continue to get more violent even as the legal definitions of “violent”, “aggrevated”, “assault”, and most importantly “FELON” is easier to attain or prove. So easy in fact that WRONGFUL CONVICTION OCCURS at a measurable level.

    Our founders in their experimentation understood certain well known injustices such as I’ve described in brief above spelled doom to a nation’s willingness to remain united.

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