We Can Stop Breaking Families Apart | Vote Yes on Proposition 64 in California

As a Latino Iraq War Combat Veteran and son of a pastor and bible school teacher I have learned that God, family, and service to country and neighbor come first. And it’s why I’m voting Yes on 64 and asking you to join me. Growing up I saw the direct impact and great injustice the War on Drugs has had in low-income Latino and African-American families. Currently in the state of California Latinos and African-Americans make up 87% of the inmate population due to non-violent drug offenses, 1.8 million children don’t have a two parent house-hold because either one or both of the parents is currently incarcerated due to the War on Drugs, and Latino and African-Americans communities are losing $3.57 billion annually due to the life-tag of a non-violent drug conviction.

Proposition 64 ends the criminalization of marijuana and allows our communities to start healing from the War on Drugs. With $50 million dollars in economic and job placement investment in low-income neighborhoods that have been disproportionately affected, pardoning our family members who have a non-violent misdemeanor or felony due to marijuana drug possession, providing education funding to ensure higher school retention, and ensuring our kids don’t go to jail for a petty marijuana offense is for me and many other Californians the first step towards breaking the Cycle of Poverty, the New Jim Crow, and ensuring our families and children stay together.

I did not go and fight a War in Iraq to come back home and see our citizen’s corralled needlessly into prisons and our families torn apart. When you grow up in the Barrio and see your friends not being able to apply for financial aid because of their marijuana conviction, when you come back home from a tour overseas and realize your best friends Marcos and Adrian are locked up, and when you go to church and see the difficulties men and women face finding a job simply because they were convicted of doing something other states have already successfully made legal, you have to act. As a person of faith I have to act and I’m asking you to also because as my mother said, “Never get tired of fighting for was is right.”

I humbly ask you to stand for what is right and vote for giving our brothers and sisters a second chance in life.

Join me and Pledge to Vote Yes on Proposition 64 this November 8th.

Arnoldo Alonso

U.S. Army Veteran (OIF/OEF)