As one of the most recognizable faces of the Black Lives Matter movement, Shaun King has been passionate about reforming the justice system so that black and brown people are treated equally under the law.
On Thursday, King announced the Real Justice Political Action Committee that will help elect reform-minded prosecutors, sheriffs and judges that will be passionate about reducing the number of nonviolent offenders imprisoned.
“No position in America, no single individual has a bigger impact on the criminal justice system ― including police brutality, but the whole crisis of mass incarceration in general ― than your local district attorney,” King said. “They are the gatekeepers of America’s justice system.”
The Real Justice PAC has set objectives that will make this a reality. The first is to elect prosecutors who will actively push back against discriminatory policing, limit and/or eliminate money bail that has been proven to keep poor people in jail longer, and help roll back other practices that lead to mass incarceration.
The second objective aims at building upon the work of Sen. Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. This will create a volunteer to vote contact network, small-dollar fundraising, and social media organizing that will strengthen the voices of voters and hold elected officials accountable.
Ultimately, the PAC will win races with a mandate for real justice with candidates that are more than liberal by name only.
“That’s a smarter way and a safer way for us to make an assessment,” King said. “Many people are running under the guise of being Democrats in these DA races and that has next to no value.”
All of this will be achieved with enthusiastic field organizing, an increased social media presence, small-dollar fundraising, candidate recruitment that will prevent an estimated 84 percent of county prosecutors running unopposed and a true commitment to criminal justice reform.
King is joined by members of the Sanders campaign Becky Bond and Karthik Ganapathy, Michael Kieschnick, Zack Malitz and Hector Sigala.
“If we are perpetually on the outside, our message might be right, but it won’t have the effectiveness that it deserves,” he said. “We can mobilize in some really amazing ways locally and just get these races in the front of the mind for people so that they understand it’s everything.”