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The most horrible thing about alleged Christian Values Pa. governor Tom Corbett's gawdawful budget is his refusal to take the $17 billion dollars in free medicaid money being offered by the federal government. Multiple studies, including one from our own state government, have concluded that this would create all kinds of jobs not to mention provide health care benefits to many citizens who can't afford costly and overpriced private insurance. It would also help plug holes in the statewide deficit, which as usual Republicans help create with their tax giveaways to their rich corporate friends.

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But it's not just enough to hate Corbett based on his terrible plans not to improve the health of his own citizens. We should also hate Corbett because he's also doing next to nothing to end  the school to prison pipeline that decimates communities all over the country and not just Pennsylvania.

A new group called Decarcerate PA will be reminding us of this problem today at noon in Mellon Square in East Liberty. Here is their press release:

   On Sunday May 26, 2013, join us for a Rally for A People's Budget, to be followed by a Community Day BBQ at Mellon Park in East Liberty!

    Year after year, Governor Corbett cuts funds from education, healthcare, environmental protection, and social services. Yet he continues to spend millions on locking people up. His proposed budget for 2013 includes a $68 million increase for the Department of Corrections; many of our lawmakers talk the talk about the need for prison reform and increased education funding, but they refuse to walk the walk.

    This is why we will rally in Pittsburgh to demand A People's Budget, Not a Prison Budget, echoing the message from across the state where on May 25th the March for a People's Budget will launch from Philadelphia, to land in Harrisburg on June 3rd to demand that legislators invest in communities, not prisons.

    The rally in Pittsburgh will be followed by a Community Day at Mellon Park where we will join together to celebrate and give voice to the things that we want in our communities, the things that make us safe, healthy, and secure, unlike mass incarceration. Families encouraged to come!

    Also, we will be organizing transportation to Harrisburg on June 3 to join with the marchers from the east side of the state to rally on the steps of the capital to bring the message to our legislators!

    Stay tuned for more details!

Let's all wish them luck. Related: You can find their website here. More Related: Here's a description of the group from their own website:

   

Decarcerate PA is a coalition of organizations and individuals seeking an end to mass incarceration and the harms it brings our many communities. Decarcerate PA seeks mechanisms to establish and maintain whole, healthy communities and believes that imprisonment exacerbates the problems we face.  We therefore demand an immediate and lasting moratorium on all new prisons: no new prisons, no new county or city jails, no prison expansions, no new beds in county jails, no immigrant detention facilities, no private prisons. We also demand changes in policing, sentencing and legislation to reduce the prison population.  We believe that public money should instead be spent on quality public schools, jobs and job training, community-based reentry services, health care and food access, drug and alcohol treatment programs, stable housing, restorative forms of justice and non-punitive programs that address the root cause of violence in our communities.  Such steps are necessary to secure socially responsible, personally secure, and economically viable communities in our state.

    To get a better sense of what we are about, check out this video from our rally in front of Hill International this summer, or read our three point platform here.

Not Related: This has nothing to do with the Orwellian and shoddy work of Tom Corbett's Pennsylvania Human Relation Commission. (PHRC). But I wish it did.
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