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15 Reasons Why We're Thankful This Year

As we near the end of 2012, we at WitnessLA believe there is quite a bit to be thankful for within the social justice sphere–breakthroughs, big wins (and smaller wins), opened doors, and steps in the right direction. Here are fifteen items on our list, in no particular order:

1. We’re thankful to Senator Leland Yee for drafting SB 9, the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act, and to Gov. Brown for having the good sense to sign the bill that gives certain juvies serving life-without-parole the possibility of a second chance.

2. We’re thankful that Californians passed Prop 36, the three-strikes reform legislation.

3. We’re thankful that California’s education system will not have to find out what would have happened if Prop 30 had not passed.

4. We’re thankful for the rigor with which the members and staff of the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence approached their task, which led to a strong set of findings, and a thorough list of recommendations.

5. We’re also thankful for the many LASD people—present and former— who have courageously come forward: to us, to the LA Times, to the commission and to those guys and girls on Wilshire Blvd.

6. We’re thankful to Judge Michael Nash for shining light on Child Dependency Court proceedings by allowing media access, and to the 2nd District of the California Court of Appeals for denying petitions against Judge Nash’s decision.

7. We’re thankful for the passage of marijuana laws in Washington and Colorado as steps toward rectifying the harm done by a failed drug war.

8. We’re thankful for SCOTUS’ ban of mandatory juvenile life-without-parole sentencing. (It’s one step in the direction of banning juvie LWOP altogether.)

9. We’re also thankful to SCOTUS for ruling preposterously long sentences for youth unconstitutional.

10. We’re thankful for the wise and important findings of the California State Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color created by Assembly speaker John Perez, and chaired by Assemblyman Sandré Swanson.

11. We’re thankful that, slowly but surely, the US is making progress toward equal rights for the LGBT community (shout out to Washington, Maryland, Maine, and Minnesota).

12. We’re also thankful to Gov. Brown for making CA the first state to ban gay conversion therapy for youth.

13. We’re thankful for all those who are pushing for zero-tolerance reform in LAUSD schools and across the nation.

14. We’re thankful to SCOTUS for striking down most of the harsh AZ immigration law, SB 1070.

15. We’re thankful that, a year after the program commenced on Oct. 1, 2011, people are finally starting to talk sense about California’s prison realignment process—rather than painting it counter-factually as a plot to endanger public safety by releasing prisoners early. (We are particularly grateful to the LA Times Rob Greene for snapping some of the worst fact-offenders out of their stupor.) We’re also thankful for the programs that are starting to spring up in various counties that see realignment as an opportunity, rather than a burden.


  • Be thankful the liberals in Sacramento and Washington are going to destroy this country, NOT. When the Obama free shit programs run out, the Moon Beam Brown train to nowhere and alike projects and programs puts California in a tail spin and into a cliff, watch the riots begin. “Where is my free shit?” they will ask. Sorry, no more money. Adios America, hello Greece and its way of life. But, that is what the people want, that is what they get. Soon the Libs will demand everyone live in 900 sq ft homes and ride bikes (Of course the liberal elites will maintain their wealth and property, after all they are special) and then everyone can be equal. Government will take care of everyone, spread the wealth. The worst is yet to come, but until then, it is paramount every one feel good and look to government to be the guiding light.

  • SO THANKFUL! Thankful for the onslaught of new taxes and the return of felons to the streets! Let’s celebrate! I’m with you Taylor, we have much to be thankful for! So what does the law abiding, straight, hard working, legal citizen, taxpayer, non dope smoker have to be thankful for? NOTHING!!!

  • Congratulations to the Democrats and Young People! You now own it and you can’t blame Bush.
    The next terrorist attack you own it.
    Can’t get a job after graduation, you own it.
    Sky rocketing energy prices due to Obama’s EPA shutting down the energy producing states, you own it.
    A nuclear Iran, you own it.
    Bowing to the Soviet Union, you own it.
    Another severe recession, you own it.
    A volatile border with Mexico, you own it.
    Trouble getting good health care, you own it.
    Higher health insurance costs and health care costs, you own it.
    No budget, you own it.
    Our allies mistrust, you own it.
    Another trillion of debt, you own it.
    More Benghazi situations, you own it.
    No one willing to join the military, you own it.
    Trouble getting a loan to buy a home, you own it.
    More dependency on food stamps, you
    own it.
    Trouble finding good employment, you own it.
    Several part time jobs instead of a good job, you own it.
    A World Government, you own it.
    The UN governing the United States instead of ourselves, you own it.
    A Senate that will not bring any legislation to the table even if it is “Dead on Arrival”, you own it.
    China controlling our world trade trampling all over us, you own it.
    Loss of our freedoms as we have known it in the past, you own it.
    A dictatorship instead of a democracy that follows the Constitution, you own it.
    Less take home pay and higher living costs, you own it.
    Driving a car that looks like a toy, you own it.
    More government corruption and lies, you own it.
    More toleration of extreme and fanatical Islamists, you own it.
    Terrorist attacks called work place incidents, you own it.
    Your revenge instead of love of country, you own it.
    George Bush is out of it now, and
    there is not another good man for you to vilify and lie about. In a way
    I am relieved that another good man will not be blamed when it was
    impossible to clean up this mess you voted for. Have a good day. God
    bless the United States! God is our hope now.

  • And for the record, I support Arizona and despise illegal aliens. I don’t believe in same sex marriage, sex etc. Obama is for the weak and predominately lazy unemployed females. California coddles to minorities and illegals. Prop 30 is a big joke the schools will fail and soon. I have no kids or other family in the system so let it and California fail

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