United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect
UNION CURRENT CALL TO ACTION
CALL TO ACTION
Ongoing until further notice
This is an official Call To Action to generate letters to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to lower telephone rates coming from prisons. Attorney Michael Hamden advises that a flood of letters from those paying ridiculously high phone rates give this matter a higher profile and increase the chance for a favorable resolution.
As you must know by now, only the power of numbers makes EVERYTHING go, no matter what it is we work to achieve, our major reforms have happened only because of the power of numbers backing up attorneys who work for us. The hard work has all been done for you by Mr. Hamden. Your UNION recruiting team is already working to file their complaints, copy everyone and sign the petition which will be submitted with this well-organized campaign.
SIGN A PETITION?
I have told you many times that signing online petitions is a total waste of time, and that they benefit only the petition's sponsor in giving them addresses, since the State and Federal politicians give zero recognition to electronic signatures. A petition must be registered with the Secretary of State and more than a half million signatures collected within 150 days to change a state law.
All of these facts are still the case and I don't want you to be confused by my suddenly asking you to sign a petition which is the exception to how UNION workers are taught to actually get things done. In this case, and this case only, I am asking you to do two things:
1) Sign the online petition with a short statement of your personal experience and hardship due to high phone rates from prison; and http://www.thepetitionsite.com/3/lower-the-cost-of-calls-from-prison Be sure to leave information about the ways you have been exploited and the reasons that change are so important to you.
2) Take that same statement and file it with FCC in the form of a letter copied to the email addresses that Mr. Hamden has listed at his web site, http://www.HamdenConsulting.com/CallToAction.html. The result could save you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, so it is worth your time. Your Voice is Important.
These are the simple, detailed instructions on how to upload your letter to the FCC
Don't leave it to others to speak on your behalf – many of them are relying on you!
As our good UNION workers know, 99% success results from a public outcry loud enough to draw attention, and strong support of our advocates when they take on the system. RAISE YOUR VOICE! Ours is the public outcry that is so necessary to achieve real change. Just as we supported Attorney Rob Bastian with the Eddie Dillard Case, and Attorneys Donald Specter and Michael Bien with the Plata case fight for yourself and others by documenting the way we are exploited by the prison phone companies.
We still have the right to organize, get out the vote, and force changes in the laws and the way that government does its business, rights that many Americans fought and died to preserve. Is there a better way to honor those who fight for us than to exercise those freedoms? Immediate Action is required! It is still up to us, as it has always been. The power of numbers is our only weapon, and working together, we Can make a difference.
Please copy me on what you sent so we can track the level of participation we have. Everyone with a loved one in prison will benefit if enough of us make our voices heard. I would like to thank our recruiting team members who took the time out of their busy schedules to examine and participate in this Call to Action on your behalf.
Dr. B. Cayenne Bird
It is Said that Since 1776, More than one Million Americans Have Given Their Lives In Service To Our Country. Let Us Honor Their Sacrifice With vigilance - Protecting the Founding Principles of Liberty And Justice - With Gratitude - Remembering their Families - And by keeping faith with all our veterans
Dear Fellow UNION Workers for Change:
People who are frustrated by the outrageous practices of prison telephone service providers can help persuade the Federal Communications Commission to undertake long-overdue regulation of the industry by filing a written comment. These companies pay kickbacks to correctional agencies of as much as 60% of all revenue to secure a monopoly at a particular facility or throughout an entire state system; they generally permit only the most expensive calling option (collect); they employ technology ostensibly for security purposes which can easily be used to bolster profits; they charge fees to establish pre-paid consumer accounts and to process payments; and they confiscate sums remaining in accounts that have had no activity within 60 days.
Actual rates vary from state-to-state, but the cost is often $1.00 or more per minute. These practices amount to the exploitation of some of the least affluent families in our society, they are extortionate ("pay whatever we charge or forego telephone conversation with your loved one"), and they impose a hidden tax to subsidize expenses that should be borne by the public.
People who are bamboozled by these schemes, and those who simply find them unconscionable can help to bring them to an end by giving written expression to their thoughts. Complete information, simple to follow instructions, and all necessary information can be found at
(The site also contains biographical info about me, links to other resources, and additional information that people working for change may find useful.) Thank you for your time, your attention, and for all your good work.
Michael S. Hamden Attorney,
Counselor at Law and Corrections Consultant www.HamdenConsulting.com
SAMPLE LETTER TO THE FCC
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
Re: Wright Alternative Rulemaking Proposal C.C. Docket 96-128
Dear Ms. Dortch:
I live in ___________________ (City/County and State) where I receive collect calls from (___family member ) who is in the ( correctional facility ). Currently I pay _______ for a twenty minute call. I am also charged fees to open a prepaid account and to process my payments. I enclose a copy of some of my phone bills to illustrate how expensive these charges are. The costs of calls from incarcerated loved ones create a very real problem – (describe your family situation and the importance of maintaining contact with your loved one, take the underline out).
It seems clear that the primary reason rates are so high is because of the commissions paid by prison phone service providers to correctional facilities. I believe these commissions are an unfair tax on families of inmates, including many who cannot afford these outrageous (or excessive, or exorbitant, or painfully high, or whatever words you believe best describes the) rates.
It is my understanding that a recent cost study submitted by prison phone service companies has determined a “fair rate” that eliminates commissions, covers legitimate costs and provides a reasonable return for prison phone companies while dramatically reducing call rates. There is an immediate need for national regulation of a nation-wide prison phone industry which exploits vulnerable consumers shamelessly.
The FCC has legal authority to provide industry oversight. This authority can be found at 47 U.S.C. § 276(b)(1)(A)(requiring the FCC to ensure fair compensation for each and every completed call) and 47 U.S.C. § 201(b)(requiring that all telephone charges and practices must be "just and reasonable"). In the responsible exercise of its duty, the FCC should ) prohibit the payment of "commissions," and eliminate all other means (such as hidden fees) to unjustifiably inflate the cost of prisoner phone calls; require prison phone companies to offer the broadest possible range of calling options at fair and reasonable rates; and adopt cost-based, "benchmark" rates (which will provide a measurement of whether rates are fair and reasonable) for all intra-state and inter-state prisoner collect, pre-paid, and debit telephone calls. The benchmark rates should cover legitimate costs and provide a reasonable rate of return to prison phone providers so that there will be incentives for businesses to provide these services.
Finally, the FCC should leave jurisdiction with the state public utilities commissions to decide requests for deviations from established benchmark rates when a service provider claims that a remote location or other considerations require an adjustment to make the provision of prisoner phone services feasible. My hope is that this proceeding will result in fair and reasonable rates for the widest possible range of prisoner-initiated telephone calls. Please make sure fair rates will be made available to all inmate families everywhere. Thank you.
Your Name Here Note:
In several places there are blank lines followed by information that would help the FCC better understand your concerns. If you decide to use this letter or a modified version of the letter, please be sure to remove those lines and the information immediately following, as well as this note. However, the FCC will pay far more attention to an original letter than to one that appears to be a form letter. Thank you for your interest and your help.
These links need comments made beneath them right away
my column. What would happen to you if you gave someone poison? comment here right now
Inmates Forced to Drink Poison Water - No Place to Go for Help
------------ --------- --
These two pages need to be printed off for the jailhouse lawyers especially, but for all inmates on double celling and inhumane case rulings.
Ways you can fight for yourself today!
February 3, 2009 - Rally Flyer - Plata
The rally on Nov 21, 2008 was a big success.
If you dropped the ball on the movement and didn't come to it, you will have another chance to come the last day of the trial. Closing arguments will be held Feb 3, 2009, meet by the flagpole at 9 am sharp, then we will go up to the 19th floor, Judge Thelton Henderson's courtroom, Plata trial
Feb 3, 2009
Federal Courthouse - 450 Golden Gate Ave,
Judge Thelton Henderson's courtroom
to back up Judges Henderson, Karlton and Reinhardt and the Prison Law Office attorneys in holding the state accountable for committing murder by medical neglect by overcrowding the prisons beyond a humane level.
The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) runs just three blocks away, take the Civic Center exit.
Special note regarding parking at the San Francisco Civic Center. The entrance is on McAllister Street to a one block long public parking lot. It is all underground and it is easy to miss the entrance. They built a park on top of this massive parking structure, so all you will see is a park. You exit out of the parking structure on Larkin St. There is also parking on Turk Street, just behind the Fed Courthouse. Look for the park - that's the top of the underground parking structure
From Amtrak, their system will you take you almost right up to the courthouse
The Market St & 8th Bus brings you within four blocks, these run every
The way this goes depends on the public outcry - you are the public
outcry that has been missing. If you
don't care enough to write to editors and show up where a crowd is needed, nobody in power is going to care either. When a prisoner needs medical care, it is too late for their family members to organize. Do it now, time is running out.
The state lawmakers are negotiating with Geo Group (aka as Wackenhut),
google up these search terms (Wackenhut, Geo, lawsuit,
settlement) to farm out medical care. If rehab, education and medical care are provided, a profit cannot be made with which to run the bureacracy.
reference the Plata case for medical neglect
Honorable JudgeThelton E. Henderson
United States District Court
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, California 94102
Reference the Coleman case for the mentally ill
Dear Honorable Judge Henderson:
Senior District Court Honorable Judge Lawrence K. Karlton (LKK)
501 I Street, Suite. 4-200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 930-4000
Dear Honorable Judge Karlton
Make certain that you are writing letters to editors on the violations that the lawmakers are making of the California Constitution which forbids holding people in custody when they cannot provide adequate medical care. Caring starts with you. Sign up in the UNION so you can help with this important work. An 8th grader can do it. You are needed. Billions of education dollars are being wasted on punishing sick people. How ludicrous! -
How do you make noise? Be prepared to respond to UNION Calls to Action and write to editors. Everyone is hoping and praying that our side is going to find it's own organizing legs soon.
The state runs on voting groups and we outnumber everyone but that doesn't matter if we aren't writing, recruiting, filing lawsuits and initiative campaigns.. All of this oppression is happening because we haven't organized well enough or loudly enough.Sign up for the daily newsletter so you can learn to become an activist for change. Get off the sidelines, writing to editors, recruiting more writers and protesters, getting out the vote is essential to reform! The war is in Sacramento and 90% of winning it is showing up when you're supposed to be there.
My past articles which include many sensible prison reform recommendations which would free up tens of thousands of prison cells are located at the following links. I hope you can take them and post them everywhere to THE OTHER VOTERS and mail them into the prisoners. The legislators are in office to service the people who gave them money to get elected, not to service the poor. This is where failure to get out the vote catches up with us.
One powerful organized voting group could demand the closure of 70% of the adult prisons. Failure to organize is costing us our lives and future. It is necessary for us to elect our own people to office as the first step in achieving something like this major feat below. There is no evidence that prisons, jails, juvenile halls, the death penalty, harsh laws, long sentences do one thing to deter crime. 6500 people willing to do a little work can force reform through initiatives, referendums, recalling or electing politicians. Less than that number cannot raise enough funds or make the 150 day signature gathering deadlines.
Please subscribe to the UNION daily newsletter so you can learn how, when, where to become an advocate for change.
the UNION media email list is located here - use it to post letters to editors of 150 words or less (use your pen name if you're afraid to speak out but don't neglect to make your voice heard!) Post comments at as many publications as possible.
Our battles are only as effective as the NUMBER OF PEOPLE who write,
recruit and bring people to the polls to vote. That means you!
Are you posting comments beneath prison reform articles and writing to editors short 7 to 10 sentence reactions to what they're writing in the news? We elaborate on the issues in the daily UNION newsletter but you can find plenty of places to help educate the public on prison issues that appear almost daily in the Sacramento Bee, North County Times, California Progress Report
if you want to see reform as silence is consent. When you aren't writing
and attending protests, everyone assumes that you are happy with the status
quo. We have a great media
email list online for you to use (select, copy, paste)
If you would like to be one of the 6500 workers to help me bring about criminal justice reform, better conditions in prisons and jails and help for the families of prisoners, please join our UNION. We always need help with our website updates, researchers, letter writers, protesters, people to give rides when we have a call to action to attend an important hearing on protest. We also need clerical assistance filing and answering mail in Sacramento as the pleas for help number in the thousands. We could always use supplies, paper, postage, ink cartridges, the state runs on groups, if you don't have a big one, you can't elect people to office who will represent you. Your participation in this process is necessary as the power of numbers is the only solution.
there is an audio you can listen to at this link
Join the UNION
Rev. B. Cayenne Bird
United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect
Writing, protesting, recruiting more workers, getting out the vote, that's what real patriots do when their chains become too heavy. We never have enough volunteers in action which is why the problems still exist. You can do something about this needless suffering when you work in a group. There are 3 million people attached to a state prisoner but until they are properly organized, funding themselves and getting out the vote, the numbers won't count and we will be stymied in our work to file more lawsuits and do more initiative campaigns. 6500 workers can change any law, elect or recall any politician, will you be one who takes action in the UNION?
Other complaint information is located on this page link
We have had excellent luck when 50 or more UNION families file complaints
with the County Grand Jury in the area where the
abusing prison is located in addition to the resources at the above link. Name a date, a person, a time, provide documents, sometimes
we actually win.
Rev. Dr. B. Cayenne Bird
P.O. Box 340371
Sacramento, Ca. 95834
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