Manny Pelaez betrays community’s efforts for a comprehensive cite and release policy

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

December 2, 2021 

CONTACTS: Carolina Canizales, 210-760-7368, ccanizales@ilrc.org and Ananda Tomas, 575-937-4813, ananda@act4sa.org

Manny Pelaez betrays community’s efforts for a comprehensive cite and release policy 

SAN ANTONIO, TX — Yesterday the SA Stands coalition learned that Councilman Manny Pelaez filed a Council Consideration Request (CCR) for an incomplete cite and release program, one that would ONLY cover some marijuana misdemeanor cases. He did this after meeting with our SA Stands leaders and hearing about our comprehensive cite and release proposed ordinance.

For the past four years, the SA Stands coalition has led a campaign that is holistic and puts the best version of a cite and release ordinance forward. Our proposed cite and release ordinance is not just about giving an opportunity to those individuals that are caught with marijuana possession, ours includes all citation-eligible offenses under the Texas Penal Code

SA Stand’s goal has always been to significantly reduce non-mandatory and costly arrests in communities who are largely impacted by overpolicing. Our proposed ordinance also includes language to ensure data transparency and oversight of the SA Police Department. 

“Councilman Pelaez has made a calculated move to undercut years of work by the community- including his own constituents- on cite and release. We are also disappointed in Councilman Courage for supporting Pelaez’s watered down version of cite and release. He gave his own commitment to support our CCR just this fall,” stated Ananda Tomas, a member of the SA Stands coalition. 

The SA Stands coalition has received more than 500 petition supporters for our proposed version of cite and release, and engaged hundreds more community members via webinars and community meetings, and produced numerous resources to educate the community about the positive outcomes cite and release can bring to our city. We also surveyed council leaders during elections and got their commitment to support our cite and release ordinance, including Councilman Pelaez’s commitment of support.  

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SA Stands is a strong non-partisan collaborative in the city of San Antonio and Bexar County that believes no human being is disposable and works towards the abolishment of systems that are inherently racist and dehumanizing. Through organized campaigns, advocacy efforts, community education, and direct action, SA Stands will mobilize against any laws and efforts that criminalize, incarcerate, deport and divide our communities. For more information visit sastands.org

MEDIA ADVISORY

Activist drop off hundreds of petitions to urge Pelaez and Rocha-Garcia to support a Cite and Release Ordinance

SAN ANTONIO, TX — On Friday, October 22nd, members of SA Stands, a local coalition who has worked the past three years to reduce arrests via a cite and release ordinance, will deliver more than 500 petition signatures from San Antonio residents that support reducing arrests in their communities to the offices of Councilman Pelaez and Councilwoman Rocha-Garcia 

During the May city council elections, SA Stands sent candidate questionnaires asking whether council candidates would support and introduce a cite and release ordinance within their first 100 days in office— Pelaez answered ‘yes’ but has done nothing, while Rocha-Garcia has refused to meet with the group altogether. 

“A cite and release ordinance will greatly reduce discriminatory policing against Black and other communities of color. It will save money in police and jail upkeep, which can be spent on other needs such as housing and public health,” stated Carolina Canizales, an SA Stands leader. Since 2019, SAPD has implemented an administrative cite and release policy, but SA Stands is urging city council to permanently codify this policy into an ordinance to ensure an increase in the number of citations issued by police officers. The last two years of data continue to show racial disparities in who officers cite for offenses like marijuana possession, theft and driving with an invalid license. 

Activists will drop off petitions to these respective council offices, have speakers highlight the lack of leadership on this issue, and ask that councilmembers publicly support an ordinance or not be a barrier. 

WHEN: Friday, October 22, 2021 12-1:30 PM CT 

WHERE:  12pm- Pelaez District 8 Office (13330 Kyle Seale Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78249)

     1:05pm Rocha-Garcia District 4 Office (5102 Old Pearsall Rd, San Antonio, TX 78242 

NOTES FOR MEDIA: Speakers available for comment before and after the event

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: (All members of SA Stands coalition) 

Ananda Tomas, ACT 4 SA

Rodney Brown, Texas Organizing Project

Carolina Canizales, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Deborah Ponce, RAICES

SA Stands is a strong non-partisan collaborative in the city of San Antonio and Bexar County that believes no human being is disposable and works towards the abolishment of systems that are inherently racist and dehumanizing. Through organized campaigns, advocacy efforts, community education, and direct action, SA Stands will mobilize against any laws and efforts that criminalize, incarcerate, deport and divide our communities. For more information visit sastands.org