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The Honorable Andrew M.

Cuomo January 14, 2020

Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

As faith leaders who represent communities throughout Monroe County, we write to you expressing
our support for the bail reform measures that went into effect on the first of the year.

If we look to history, we see that slavery has arisen time and time again under new names: the Black
Codes, Jim Crow, and now mass incarceration. The New York State Legislature took bold and
necessary action last year to dismantle race and class-based jailing through its pretrial reforms, and in
doing so promote a more fair and equitable justice system.

We urge you to stand strong in the face of fear-mongering and misinformation campaigns. We cannot
give validity to bad faith arguments rooted in racism.

Thanks to the new bail law, fewer people will be forced to sit in jail because they’re too poor to pay
for their freedom. Fewer families and communities will be broken apart. And we can finally begin to
address the painful legacy that mass incarceration has had on Black and Brown communities in our
Monroe County area.

We strongly support the new pretrial reforms and expect them to move forward without any revisions
or rollbacks, expansion of bail-eligible charges or judicial discretion, or additions of “dangerousness”
measures or "risk assessment" algorithms that have historically been used to discriminate against
low-income people and people of color.

This moment calls for moral leadership, and we expect New York State’s leaders to act justly by
protecting these necessary reforms.


Rev. Lane Campbell

Reverend Shari Halliday-Quan
Rev. Robert K. Hoggard
Deni W. Mack, D. Min.
Rev. James C. Simmons
Rev. Dr. Marlowe Washington
Rev. Robert Thomas Werth