Catholic leaders pushing Proposition 62

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by Surabhi B. and Jennifer P., AMHS MAP students

With the fall general election coming up, it is important to
consider some of the pressing issues; one of them is the death
penalty. This is a government-sanctioned practice where a person is
put to death by the state as a punishment for crimes such as murder,
terrorism, and drug trafficking.
The need for the death penalty is something that has been heavily
debated for years, and the most recent propositions of legislation in
California, detailed in the November ballot, are major deciding
points. Proposition 62 removes the death penalty, while Proposition 66
conversely, facilitates and expedites the implementation of the death
penalty. Currently, the No on 66 movements has raised about $5.2
million more than the Yes on Prop 66 movement. No on 66 is working to
defeat Proposition 66 and approve Proposition 62. Every vote counts,
because if both propositions pass, the one with the higher amount of
“yes” votes will be enacted.
Prop 62 has many benefits over Prop 66, including great financial
savings. The California’s voter’s guide official argument states:
“Prop 62 will save $150 million per year. A death row sentence costs
18 times more than life in prison. Resources can be better spent on
education, public safety, and crime prevention that actually works.”
Morally speaking, A vote for prop 62 means less innocent lives are
lost. Since a convicted person is never surely 100% guilty, there is
the chance that the death penalty will be imposed upon a blameless
human. In addition, no life is ever worth death. Pope Francis, during
this Year of Mercy, hopes to remove the death penalty completely, and
has long voice these sentiments, saying “It is an offence to the
inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human person; it
likewise contradicts God’s plan for individuals and society, and his
merciful justice.”

The Conference of Catholic Bishops has echoed
similar sentiment: “No matter how heinous the crime, if society can
protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so.”
Ultimately, our efforts should be focused on improving mental health
treatment and prison environment, reforms that can actually better the
individual and the society, rather than the unnecessary death penalty.
For more information, on the Diocese of San Jose’s stance on this
issue, you can check out their informative video (link:
http://www.dsj.org/blog/catholics-speak-true-justice-prop-62-prop-66/).

Measure A creates affordable housing

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By: Joshua Issacs and Arjan Warya

The Mitty Advocacy Project advocates for the passing of Measure A, given its benefits of the greater good.  Santa Clara County, while one of the wealthiest places in the country, also has one of the highest rates of homelessness: more than 7,000 people in Silicon Valley currently live without homes. Measure A is an initiative that, if passed, would allocate $950 million for the creation of housing in Santa Clara County: the equivalent of roughly 2,000 homes.

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Statistically speaking, the measure would implement a new tax on homeowners, adding $12.60 for every $100,000 you paid for your property.  The extremely menial addition to homeowner tax pays dividends in the amount of goodwill created for those inflicted by poverty, unemployment, and disability whose troubles are further intensified through unaffordable housing.

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Our ultimate goal is to improve the lives of those who need it. We firmly believe that this measure would do just that. The Diocese of San Jose shares similar sentiments regarding this bill, as the care of those inflicted with poverty and unfair circumstances deserve adequate care and support through God’s word and through our own actions. On the November 9th ballot, we encourage you to vote YES on Measure A.
For more information, log onto: http://yesonaffordablehousing.org

MAP’s Plan for the Year

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by Surabhi Bhupathi

MAP is back in full action, and we’re already hard at work. Last year, the Mitty Advocacy Project addressed the issues of human trafficking, criminal justice youth rehabilitation, the wealth gap, and the accountability of law enforcement.

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This year, we will be visiting some of the issues addressed before, such as human trafficking, and we have some new focuses as well, such as mental health issues. Our focus issues for this year are human trafficking, mental health awareness, medical care affordability, and criminal justice reform.

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Last year, MAP advocated for these issues in a number of ways; through the social media campaign to combat human trafficking (#stoptrafficking), partnering up with other schools, like Notre Dame, St. Francis, and many others to raise awareness, and lobbying for bills at both the state and federal level. Results of this endeavor include six bills signed to law to protect trafficking victims and crack down on traffickers, the California Restorative Justice Act, facilitating the restorative justice and rehabilitation for public safety.

Our hope for this year is to build upon this by raising public awareness, through volunteering in public initiatives that promote the issues we focus on, attending workshops, and publishing a research-based study. In addition to this, we will also be regularly updating our popular blog posts where we shed light on our issues and the progress we have made concerning them.

Through these efforts, we hope to succeed in making a difference to the community around us, as we have in years before.  

Stay tuned as we begin to report on the upcoming election.