San Jose City Council Considers Whether to Endorse Prop. 17

Under California law, people with felony convictions can only vote after they’ve served both their prison sentence and finished parole.

That could change in November if California voters approve Proposition 17.

Prop. 17 would amend the state’s Constitution to allow felons out on parole to regain their right to participate in democracy. During its during its virtual meeting Tuesday, the San Jose City Council will decide whether to support or oppose the statewide measure.

Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco called on her colleagues to support the initiative.

“Voting is a cornerstone to our democracy, a system of government that is stronger when it is fair and inclusive, and stripping the right to vote from formerly incarcerated people is a form of voter suppression that is deeply out of step with California’s values,” she wrote in a memo explaining her position. “When a person completes their prison sentence and is released to parole, they should be encouraged to re-enter society and have a stake in their community, including the freedom to vote.”

The proposition has been endorsed by the California League of Women Voters, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Crimes Victims United and the Election Integrity Project California oppose it.

The City Council convenes virtually at 1:30pm Tuesday. Click here to read the entire agenda, here to join the Zoom meeting and here to tune in on YouTube. 

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

10 Comments

  1. The recidivism rate of released felons in CA has hovered around 70% for decades. Most paroled felons never complete their paroles before reoffending. For that reason we should all vote NO.
    And will everyone please stop calling the US a democracy. It was founded as a republic and remains a republic. Does the Pledge of Allegiance say “and to the democracy for which it stands”? No, it does not.

  2. “When a person completes their prison sentence and is released to parole, they should be encouraged to re-enter society and have a stake in their community, including the freedom to vote.” — Magdalena Carrasco

    Ms. Carrasco is either lying or she’s stupid (my definition: an official who forms and promotes ideas without having any real knowledge of the subject).

    Parolees are convicts who HAVE NOT completed their prison sentences. They are released ON parole, which is defined as the supervised release of a PRISON INMATE. They are, as are all other prison inmates, subject to search and other conditions from which free citizens are protected. They even lack a Constitutional right to legal protection during hearings (parole revocation) in which their freedom is at stake.

    With convicts being released on parole at higher than traditional rates, for reasons political and fiscal, it is not surprising that elected scoundrels like Ms. Carrasco would look to exploit this new population of dumb Democrat voters. But let’s not pretend that parolees have paid their debt to society, for they most certainly have not.

  3. There seems to be some disconnect. Paroles have NOT completed their sentences. Why are they lying to us? What is the motivation for this?

  4. Vote YES!!! ONLY IF THEY HAVE COMPLETED AND ARE DISCHARGED ! I am a parolee and am about to be discharged soon I feel we (FELONS/ X-CONVICTS) as we are unfortunate to not be able to have a say in who is going to be running our state .Regardless of our past decisions weve made that put us in the situations that got us incarcerated and on Parole should NOT strip us of the right to vote. We deserve a fair chance to prove ourselves even though we shouldnt have to. Just because you are not a convicted felon does not mean you have not done bad things that should have put you in jail or prison.PEOPLE NEED TO BE MORE OPEN MINDED!

  5. This is great news!
    Now that our streets are beautifully paved, the sidewalks are repaired, the parks are clean and well maintained, street signs are no longer obscured by branches, the City is pruning the street trees, all the trash and weeds on city property have been cleaned up, Guadalupe River is so clean you wanna swim in it, and the hundreds of millions we’ve spent on housing programs have finally paid off and eliminated the homeless problem, finally, finally our City council can focus on the things we elected them to do.

  6. Thankfully we have a free press that holds these idiot politicians accountable whenever they make bald-faced lies about these issues.

    Right, Grace?

  7. What about the rights of the person being murdered? As time elapses, if a murderer can vote, the family of the victim should be allow to vote on the victim’s behalf. Just because you murder the person forcefully does not mean you can take their right to vote. Rights for the victims!

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