January 20, 2017
A NOTE FROM THOMAS HARVEY, CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARCHCITY DEFENDERS:
Friends and Supporters of ArchCity Defenders,
We want you to know the team here at ArchCity Defenders stands in solidarity with those who are most exposed to the clearly articulated threats of a Trump presidency. We stand with all the people who want to believe in a country that cares about our most vulnerable.
Will you stand with us?
When President Trump follows through on his campaign promises, the most vulnerable among us will be left without even the meager protections that once came from the federal government. People experiencing homelessness, among whom immigrants, people with disabilities, poor people, communities of color, and LGBTQ people are disproportionately represented, will have even more diminished protections.
We are beginning to see those dangerous, proposed changes come into focus. Reports indicate that Trump’s plan would eliminate important programs at the Department of Justice that prevent violence against women, encourage community-oriented policing, and provide legal aid to the indigent.
While the courts and the Department of Justice have often served as a defense against injustice, we can not expect Attorney General Sessions to issue statements of interest protecting the homeless and those jailed in debtors’ prisons. Rather, we should expect a return to broken windows policing, stop and frisk, and an increased crackdown on peaceful protesters exercising their political rights. Lawyers are part of a coalition that has a vital role to play, along with social workers, organizers, case managers. It is incumbent upon us to recommit ourselves to the work.
Today, everyone here at ArchCity Defenders recommits to our work. We are here for our community, we are here for you, and above all, we are here for our clients. Our clients are still living on the streets and struggling to make it. They still need housing, treatment, and jobs. For these people, today is no different than yesterday.
Are you ready to act? Are you ready to help us make a difference? Now is the time to invest in ArchCity Defenders. Invest in our commitment to holistic legal advocacy. Invest in effective services for men, women and children in the region who are trying to get off the streets and stay off the streets. Invest in ArchCity Defenders because we fight for the civil rights of the impoverished who are locked in debtors’ prisons. Invest in ArchCity Defenders because we fight alongside our clients in courtrooms and in the community everyday.
We will not stop fighting systems of oppression, building with community, and learning from others. We have served thousands of clients, filed federal class actions against 18 cities operating debtors’ prisons, and grown an all volunteer organization in 2009 to a staff of 18 in 2017. More clearly today than ever, we know there is more to be done and we need your help.
If you are like the 58 million people looking for a way ahead, start by supporting ArchCity Defenders.
Will you join us by making a donation today?
Thomas B. Harvey
Co-Founder and Executive Director, ArchCity Defenders