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GBIO Reentry Postcard Campaign and Call to Action

by Serena Fujita and Ron Ebert

Over the past several years, groups of Temple Israel members have been visiting incarcerated men and women as part of an organization called Partakers, whose goal is providing mentors for people who are incarcerated and are working towards a college degree.  Prior to COVID, we met with these students at their prisons monthly, to provide support, guidance and friendship; now we write to them.  Some of our mentees have gotten their degrees, and some have even been paroled and have continued their relationship with their mentors.  We are committed to our mentees while they are incarcerated as well as when they are released.

But being newly released is only a first step.  People who are released from prison need housing, employment, identification cards, health contracts, among other services.  One of the main points of access to services for returning citizens is the Office of Returning Citizens, manned by a single individual, Bob Turner.  He has been tasked with providing all of these things without support or adequate funding.

During the GBIO Mayoral Candidates Forum, then candidate Michelle Wu committed to spending 1.9 million dollars towards helping returning citizens get the services they need to become productive members of the community.  To secure that commitment from now Mayor Wu, GBIO is supporting a campaign to send postcards reminding her of this pledge.

As part of our social justice commitment, we at Temple Israel are urging our members to take action and join the GBIO Postcard Campaign to remind Mayor Wu of her commitment to spend 1.9 million dollars toward Returning Citizens services.  You can find the GBIO Rentry post card on the actionnetwork.org website.  Please personalize your postcard with stories or your reason for sending the card.

GBIO Reentry post card