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Arise 2020: Break down barriers to voting rights in Alabama

Voting is an essential tool for people to speak out about the future they want. By breaking down barriers to voting, we promote greater civic engagement. And we make it easier for folks to make their voices heard about issues that matter in their communities. Alabama’s sad history of racist voting restrictions means our state [...]
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
January 15, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

The new poll tax: Court debt and voting rights in Alabama

Everyone should be able to have a voice in governmental decisions that affect their daily lives. Voting is the most straightforward way Alabamians have to shape those decisions. But our state has a long, sad legacy of voter suppression tactics. As a result, Alabama today has more disenfranchised citizens than California, a state with eight [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Voting Rights
Date
January 15, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Arise 2020: Stop criminal justice debt from putting thousands of lives on hold

Criminal justice debt shouldn’t prevent a person from building a stable, secure life. But Alabama imposes millions of dollars in fines every year without considering a person’s ability to pay them. The state also conditions many rights and privileges, often including voting rights restoration, on whether a person has repaid fines. Further, despite a prohibition [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 10, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Criminal justice debt: A modern-day debtors’ prison

By Carol Gundlach and Dev Wakeley, policy analysts It is unconstitutional to jail a person in the United States just because he or she owes money. But Alabama has no process for courts to determine if a defendant can afford to pay fees and fines. And despite a prohibition on “debtors’ prisons,” thousands of Alabamians [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 10, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Arise 2020: End the injustices in Alabama’s death penalty system

All Alabamians deserve equal justice under the law. But bias and inequality persist in Alabama’s capital punishment system, despite recent reforms. Even though the state finally outlawed judicial override in 2017, the ban did not apply retroactively. That means dozens of people who were sentenced to death despite a jury’s sentencing recommendation of life without [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 9, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Injustices remain in Alabama’s death penalty practices

Alabama took an important step toward death penalty reform in 2017, but numerous problems remain. That year, the state finally outlawed judicial override in capital cases. That change means judges no longer can impose the death penalty when a jury recommends life without parole. But the ban was not retroactive, and 35 people who were [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 9, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
In the News

Alabama’s Medicaid limbo

"Medicaid expansion has moved forward now in 36 states, and those states’ Medicaid programs are doing very well with it. No state is trying to pull out," Arise's Jim Carnes tells Business Alabama. "Everybody has shown improvements. New research is coming in all the time about health improvements resulting from Medicaid expansion and the positive [...]
Date
January 8, 2020
Source
Business Alabama
Blog

Arise 2020: Stop the debt trap for Alabama payday borrowers

A small loan shouldn’t be a sentence to months or years of deep debt. Everyone who needs to borrow money should have a reasonable pathway to repaying a loan without excessive costs. But in Alabama, high-cost payday loans cost struggling people tens of millions of dollars every year. As our recent report with Alabama Appleseed [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
January 8, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
In the News

Alabama lawmaker looking to remove state grocery tax

"The grocery tax is a tax on a basic necessity of life. It's a tax on survival," Arise's Chris Sanders tells CBS 42 in Birmingham. "This is a tax that drives folks in poverty deeper into poverty. It makes it tougher for folks who are struggling to make ends meet to put food on the [...]
Date
January 7, 2020
Source
CBS 42
News Releases

Striking down the ACA would undermine health security for all Alabamians

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit struck down the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate on Wednesday. The court then returned the case to a district judge to consider whether other parts of the law can remain intact after the ruling. Alabama Arise policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Thursday in [...]
Date
December 19, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders