Last year Grace Cathedral joined with other civic and faith-based organizations in California to endorse Proposition 17, a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to restore the voting rights of offenders released from prison on parole. It was estimated that Prop. 17 would re-enfranchise 50,000 people, 73% of whom are non-white. Proposition 17 passed by a 58% majority.
In addition to California, the voting rights of parolees were restored in New Jersey and Iowa in 2020. Connecticut, New York, and Washington passed legislation in 2021. Although parolees can now vote in 22 states, much remains to be done. 28 states still have restrictions including permanent disenfranchisement (11 states), waiting periods, mandatory clemency applications, and payment of restitution, fines, and court fees as a prerequisite to regaining voting rights.
We are called as followers of Christ to bring about the just, forgiving, and inclusive world inaugurated by his coming. The Cathedral’s recent endorsement of the End Slavery for Good movement, like the Prop. 17 endorsement, illustrates the Grace community’s ongoing commitment to advance the principles of social justice, substantiated by our faith, through our words and actions.