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Arlington Democrats and Arlington Young Democrats to Co-Host July 23 Virtual Forum on Criminal Justice Reform

Facebook Live event comes in advance of special legislative session to consider legislation to address police brutality and other criminal justice and civil rights issues

Tuesday, July 21, 2020, ARLINGTON, Va.— The Arlington County Democratic Committee (Arlington Dems) and Arlington Young Democrats will host a Facebook Live forum at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 23, in advance of a special session of the General Assembly set to begin Aug. 18 that will largely be devoted to criminal justice reform.

The Democratically controlled General Assembly has proposed a slate of measures to ensure police reform and tackle aspects of systemic racism in the criminal justice system. Forum attendees will learn about the possible reform proposals and how they can help advocate for change.

Moderated by DNC member Atima Omara, panelists will include:

  1. State Sen. Barbara Favola, D-31st

  2. State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-9th

  3. House of Delegates Majority Leader Delegate Charniele Herring, D-46th

  4. Delegate Patrick Hope, D-47th

  5. Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Commonwealth's Attorney for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church

  6. Lauren Brice, Senior Assistant Public Defender for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church 

“The horrendous deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and others at the hands of police officers, as well as the disproportionate effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color, have spurred nationwide reflection and reckoning,” Arlington Democrats Chair Jill Caiazzo said. “Here in Virginia, it is important that the General Assembly make good on its commitment to police and criminal justice reform. We look forward to hosting this forum to inform all Virginians about proposed reforms and what they can do to support passage of needed legislation.”

The event will be livestreamed on Facebook and pinned to the top of the Arlington Young Democrats Facebook page. A recording also will be posted to the Arlington Democrats YouTube channel after the forum, and will be available on both organizations’ websites, and social media accounts.

“Arlington Young Democrats is pleased to play an important role in informing the public about reform efforts the General Assembly will tackle to address police brutality and other criminal justice and civil rights inequities in the commonwealth,” AYD President Dan Matthews said. “We join with Arlington Democrats in stating unequivocally that Black Lives Matter, and we urge our elected officials to take the action necessary to address these wrongs.”

Policing initiatives are expected to include measures aimed at police accountability and oversight, use of force, increased training and education, and officer recruitment, hiring, and decertification, according to a statement released by Gov. Ralph Northam’s office Friday calling the special session.

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