“Tonight, at our State of #CLOSErikers, we celebrated the power of impacted people to lead a movement that will end mass incarceration in New York City and State. Those closest to the problem are closest to the solution. That has been the defining value of our #CLOSErikers and #FREEnewyork campaigns and a value that we reaffirmed this evening by acknowledging everything that we have achieved.
“In less than a year, the #CLOSErikers campaign – which includes directly impacted people and communities from all five boroughs – successfully pressured Mayor Bill de Blasio to commit to closing Torture Island. But, we know that 10 years is too long. So alongside our partners VOCAL-NY, Latino Justice, New York Communities for Change, Working Families Party, and over 180 other organizations from across the city, we will continue to demand a shorter timeline.
“We also know that closing Rikers Island will require statewide reforms, as well, which is why we launched the #FREEnewyork campaign. Built on the same core value as #CLOSErikers, the #FREEnewyork campaign has been engaging and elevating directly impacted people across the state to advocate for reforms to our bail, discovery, and speedy trial laws. These reforms are essential to decarcerate and close jails across New York, including Rikers.
“We believe in the power of directly impacted people to lead the charge and to ensure that Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio live up to their professed values on these important issues. While tonight’s event was a chance to celebrate the successes we’ve enjoyed so far, it was also our opportunity to talk about what’s next. We will not stop organizing, advocating, and agitating until we finally #CLOSErikers, #FREEnewyork, and achieve #halfby2030.”