A Vote for Ben Scales: More than "Maintenance" of Criminal Justice Reform

My name is Nicole Townsend, and I'm an organizer in the South dedicated to ending money bail. Tomorrow, during the Buncombe County primary election, I will vote Ben Scales for District Attorney. 

Many folks, including myself, have a lot of reservations when it comes to the electoral system. I know that there is also a lot of distrust between the community and elected officials. There is even distrust between the community and those who work within our criminal punitive system. We know that for far too long the electoral system and the criminal punitive system have been used as ways to enact oppression. 

Like many folks, I’m sitting with contradiction, as I do during every election. I consider myself to be an abolitionist. Someone who believes that jails, prisons, and police are not bringing about justice. AND, I am acknowledging that many of our communities do not have transformative justice models that actually sustain our communities. Until then, I will continue to vote for people who are willing to work directly with those who are most impacted a create community based solutions. 

I am voting Ben Scales for District Attorney in Buncombe County because I want someone in office who can pinpoint the injustices within the criminal punitive system and is willing to fight to fix them. I want a DA who understands systems of oppression, someone who realizes that many laws were created for the purpose of criminalizing people of color and poor people. I want a DA that would much rather help meet the needs of the community than to help fill beds in a jail. 

As an organizer I’ve been working alongside folks throughout the South to end money bail, which impacts 70% of the people sitting in local jails – all of whom are there because they cannot afford bail. 

Buncombe County needs a District Attorney who will support an ordinance to end money bail. District Attorneys hold an incredible amount of power within our punitive system, and we the people have the power to choose who we want in that position. 

VOTE for Ben Scales on May 8th.