Goal: Preserving Chicano culture and history while challenging gang allegations in the courts.
In October, 2018, San Jose’s longest surviving Chicano Mural was unlawfully removed. After locating the original artist, a 5 million dollar lawsuit was filed against the property owner and the community began to organize. Due to mass incarceration and gentrification, Chicanismo has become marginalized into faded memories and prison walls. Through Silicon Valley De-Bug’s Participatory Defense and Jail Reform work, we have seen first hand how prosecutors abuse gang laws, how gang experts fear monger and how gang allegations can impact living conditions while folks are incarcerated pretrial. Inspired by both a pattern of whitewashed Chicano murals along with prosecutors and gang experts that have criminalized an entire culture, Silicon Valley De-Bug will begin to create exhibits, workshops and media about local and general Chicano culture, art and history that is both independent of and complementary to challenging gang allegations in the courts. This includes challenging gang charges and allegations against all ethnicities in the courtroom with the aim of being used by criminal defense attorneys and countergang experts. This will be a great new to tool that can be implemented in our participatory defense work, and may serve as a national model like our social bios.
As we start the year:
Silicon Valley De-Bug will organize families that have been impacted by gang laws and partner with the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s office to create literature and train experts to challenge prosecutors and law enforcement gang experts in the courts. In addition, Silicon Valley De-Bug along with the community will continue our efforts to restore the Mural de La Raza and preserve local and general Chicano culture and history.
CAMPAIGN STATUS: WE WON!
On November 8th, 2016 San Jose voters passed Measure E! The initiative has also inspired state legislation called AB 5, co-sponsored by newly elected California Assembly member Ash Kalra.
TIMELINE AND STATUS:
February 2016: Silicon Valley Rising Files Paperwork for Initiative to Get on Ballot
August 2016: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Endorse Ballot Measure
ASSIST IN THE CAMPAIGN:
Check out the Opportunity to Work Action Network to see how to assist in the campaign through phone banking, precinct walking, and other avenues.