Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Urge Equal Justice USA to Choose Texas to Participate in Their Retreat Against the Death Penalty

Click Here to Urge Equal Justice USA to Choose Texas to Participate in Their Important Retreat Against the Death Penalty

We need your help to persuade a national organization named Equal Justice USA to choose a Texas anti-death penalty team for their upcoming retreat to plan a new strategy for ending the death penalty in Texas. This is a vitally important opportunity for Texas to move forward with an effective strategy against the death penalty. We held several meetings and conference calls to put together our application. We have already submitted the application. Now, we need people like you to send emails to EJUSA in support of our application. If EJUSA knows that lots of people want them to choose Texas for this retreat, then they are more likely to pick us.

There is a precedent for this type of grassroots campaign directed at a national anti-death penalty organization asking them to help Texas. In 2005, the NCADP held their national conference in Austin after we organized a similar campaign to get people to send NCADP emails and or call them supporting our application for the 2005 conference. When they selected us they emailed us saying "the NCADP Board is impressed with the Texas proposal -- and with the extraordinary level of grassroots support behind it."

We can persuade EJUSA too. We just need to impress them with some grassroots support. So, please write EJUSA in support of our application. If you have any contacts in other states and outside the U.S., ask them to also write EJUSA in support of our application. Everyone in the anti-death penalty movement knows that Texas is the state where the most executions take place. Texas needs this retreat more than any other state. Ask any family members of people on death row that you know to also write EJUSA.

EJUSA required us to send them five names for our proposed team. The following people have volunteered to attend the retreat as the Texas team. The rest of the Texas team consists of everyone who works against the death penalty in Texas, because when the five member team returns, they will work with everyone together on a unified effort to end the death penalty in Texas, including organizations who are not able to send a team member because EJUSA only has room for five.

  • Rick Halperin, immediate past chair of Amnesty International USA and current president of TCADP
  • Stefanie Collins, a member of Campaign to End the Death Penalty and a 3rd year law student at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Scott Cobb, president of Texas Moratorium Network
  • Njeri Shakur, a member of the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement
  • Hooman Hedayati, president of Texas Students Against the Death Penalty.

Equal Justice USA (EJUSA) is excited to announce its third annual Training and Strategy retreat. The retreat will bring together five state teams fsome serious learning. This is not your average death penalty conference! Each state team will receive a dedicated facilitator throughout the weekend to help develop a proposed strategic plan or to expand/improve upon sections of an existing strategic plan. Training in different functional areas will be based on the exact needs of participating states – instead of talking about organizing, media, fundraising, or lobbying in theory, we'll use your state's own materials and experiences as examples and starting points. Teams will regroup privately with their facilitator throughout the weekend to apply the information gathered to their state's unique realities.

Equal Justice USA is a grassroots project of the Quixote Center that mobilizes and educates ordinary citizens around issues of crime and punishment in the U.S. Our work brings into public focus the racial, economic and political biases that permeate our legal system. By transforming our culture of vengeance and violence, we build support for an alternative public policy that is both effective and humane.

Send the link to the alert page to anyone you know and ask them to also write EJUSA.

Please use the form below to send your message to Equal Justice USA asking them to choose Texas for this important retreat.

In order for your letter to be effective, you must compose it in your own words. Each email that EJUSA receives should be different and personal. Form letters are not effective.

We are leaving the text field below empty for you to fill out in your own words. You must also fill out the subject line. Please choose a subject line that will make sure that your message is opened and read.

You must write your own email in your own language to EJUSA. But here are some key points to weave in:

  1. Texas executes way more people than any other state. In August alone, there are five executions in Texas and only two others in the entire rest of the United States.
  2. Texas needs this retreat as another step to build a unified effort against the death penalty in Texas.
  3. Texas needs more attention from the leaders of the national anti-death penalty movement and this retreat will be a good step in showing the national leaders that people in Texas are ready and willing to organize a major campaign against the death penalty.
  4. Texas is changing. People here are increasingly more receptive to our anti-death penalty message because of all the problems they have read about in the media. Even the Dallas Morning News has endorsed abolition of the death penalty.

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