Q3 Week 1: Victim Services Funding, Homeless Criminalization, and Presidential Debate History

Top headlines of the week

  1. California 2024 Budget Agreement Includes Funding for Reparations Bill Implementation, Victim Services and More
  2. “What’s More Extraordinary and Compelling?”
  3. Ruling on homelessness raises the risks for domestic violence survivors, experts say
  4. The first televised U.S. presidential debate was between two women

California has a new budget! And importantly for our community, victim services – which were facing steep funding cuts – will receive a much needed influx of cash. 

The nearly $300 billion budget package includes $103 million in one time funds to replace diminishing federal funding through the 1984 Victims of Crime Act, which has historically supported services like rape crisis centers and legal aid for survivors all around the country. The $103 million is thanks to survivors and advocates making their voices heard through direct action.

In court news, SCOTUS handed down a number of major decisions last week, which you can read about here. There’s one ruling in particular that we are saddened by. In a 6-to-3 vote, the court’s conservative majority upheld an anti-camping law used by an Oregon city that criminalizes homeless people for sleeping outside. Experts say that the ruling raises the risks for people experiencing domestic violence abuse – which 57 percent of homeless women report as the immediate cause of their homelessness. 

“If local governments are authorized to enact local policies that allow them to find and arrest people because they are living outside, they are really being complicit in the increase of gender-based violence against survivors without homes,” Kate Walz, the associate director of litigation at the National Housing Law Project, told The 19th.

For women who were previously incarcerated at FCI Dublin, the abuse-ridden women’s prison in California that closed earlier this spring, the fight for freedom endures. Lawyers representing former inhabitants of the prison, many of whom were moved to different prison locations around the country, are charting a new strategy – called compassionate release – to make the case that their clients should no longer be incarcerated because of the abuse they endured at FCI Dublin. So far, 17 former incarcerees of FCI Dublin have been freed.

And while we are all recovering from last week’s debate nightmare, we have an interesting historical tidbit for you: the first televised U.S. presidential debate was actually between two women. In 1956, Democrat Eleanor Roosevelt and Republican Margaret Chase Smith debated as surrogates for the two presidential candidates, Adlai Stevenson and Dwight Eisenhower. 

Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments 

SAVE is hosting a volunteer social event at Newark Library on Tuesday, July 9, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event will be a chance to learn more about volunteer opportunities with SAVE to help them advance their vital work.

Center for Domestic Peace

If you’re interested in helping domestic violence survivors and passionate about making a difference, consider signing up for C4PD’s 40-hour training session to become a Domestic Violence Advocate. The training is virtual and will run from July 17 to July 31. You can contact Jackie Palacios, learning and training manager, at [email protected] with any questions.

Tri-Valley Haven

There’s still plenty of time to donate a pre-filled backpack for Tri-Valley Haven’s pre-filled backpack drive. The organization is accepting donations through July 19.

The actual Backpack Distribution Event will take place on July 30 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at 444 Black Avenue in Pleasanton. The organization will give out those pre-filled backpacks to children who live in Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore and Sunol.

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