Factsheet: LA Truancy Ticket Campaign

What is the truancy ticketing campaign all about?

For years, LAPD and school police have hit tens of thousands of low-income students of
color with $250 "truancy" tickets-criminalizing students who are often minutes
late to class, blocks away from school, or stranded by poor public transportation. Police give 88% of the tickets to students of color, though they make up only 74% of the school population. Tickets and court fees can add up to over $1,000, and lead to increased absences.

The Community Rights Campaign (CRC) is a grassroots fight that began in 2005 to end the criminalization of Black and Latino youth. CRC conducted breakthrough studies on civil rights injustices in truancy ticketing, and has won the support of legal advocates, judges, and City Council members.

What's happening on Wednesday, Feb. 22?

The CRC fight is culminating with a City Council vote on an amendment by City Councilmembers
Tony Cardenas and Bernard Parks to roll back punitive ticketing, and to refocus school and city efforts on programs that will help youth stay in school and thrive.

What if City Council votes down the amendment?

The Community Rights Campaign is a grassroots fight by thousands of students and parents against the criminalization of low-income people of color. Their fight for civil rights and
justice will continue no matter how the City Council votes.

How did this campaign begin?

In 2001, CRC community organizers on public buses heard disturbing stories about discriminatory ticketing against Black and Latino students. In 2006, the CRC began forming Take Action Clubs in five high schools. Hundreds of students joined.

CRC interviewed 1,000 students about their experiences, and after a two-year battle, got the LAPD to release records showing it had issued 47,000 tickets to students from 2004-09, overwhelmingly to students of color. The LA School Police issued thousands more.

In 2009, ACLU and Public Counsel joined the campaign as partners. Together they wrote a major report on the destructive impact of ticketing. With the support of the Dignity in Schools Campaign (L.A.), their campaign has won the support of the
chief judge of L.A.'s Juvenile Court, and gained national
media attention

Why does this campaign matter outside of L.A.?

Students and families from D.C. to Denver are struggling against "zero-tolerance" policing that criminalizes low-income students-and often parents as well. The CRC campaign demonstrates that sane, holistic, just solutions come from the students and families who feel the impact of these policies, organize, and win decision-makers' support.

How can I learn more?


Watch: http://youtu.be/1CXWfCN_B7I

Contact: CRC lead
organizer Manuel Criollo, 213-387-2800