Proposition 47 is a groundbreaking California ballot initiative to reclassify six nonviolent, low-level felonies as misdemeanors and then use the salary savings – in the hundreds of millions – for prevention, education and mental health treatment. Why is Prop 47 important? California has built 22 prisons, but only 1 public university in the last 25 years. California taxpayers spend just $9,100 per K-12 student while spending a whopping $62,300 per prisoner each year.
For Mike de la Rocha, LA-based musician, entrepreneur and co-director of Artists for 47, the issue is personal:
“I remember being a child and watching my cousins going in and out of prison because they had no access to services or treatment to address their underlying addiction. And I remember thinking that I had to do something to stop this madness. Today, as a father of two young children and as someone committed to changing our world, I know that the time has come to rebalance our justice system and to focus our resources on what we value most – our children.”
I’m honored to be one of the Artists for 47 alongside writer, filmmaker and organizer Dream Hampton, comedian Kevin Hart, actor Brad Pitt, and my mentor Harry Belafonte. For more information about how you can get involved and take action in this historic effort, visit www.artistsfor47.com. Singer-songwriter John Legend might even call your house!