Support Bill 22-408, The Fare Evasion Decriminalization Act of 2017
TAKE ACTION NOW
When you get a parking ticket, you don't fear getting arrested. You pay a fine. Why should those who rely on WMATA to get around the city have to live any differently?
Currently, fare-evading in D.C. is categorized as a criminal offense. Those who are caught are subject to a fine of up to $300, arrest, and up to 10 days in jail. The Fare Evasion Decriminalization Act of 2017 (Bill 22-408) would reclassify these violations as civil offenses punishable by a fine of no more than $100, removing unnecessary and cruel criminal penalties.
We support this bill for three core reasons:
Threatening residents with arrest, jail time, and a criminal record for failure to pay a $2 fare is excessively harsh and punitive.
Criminalization of fare evasion is significantly linked to criminalization of poverty.
Enforcement of fare evasion laws disproportionately impact communities of color.
Making fare evasion a civil offense can reduce the number of negative confrontations between law enforcement and D.C. residents, and there are significant costs associated with enforcing a low-level offense like fare evasion. Making fare evasion a civil offense is an emerging best-practice in many cities across the country.
We have a chance to help end the criminalization of poverty and reverse the tide of over-incarceration in the District of Columbia by making our voices heard to the D.C. council this week.
Please contact the D.C. Council today and tell them to support Bill 22-408, The Fare Evasion Decriminalization Act of 2017.
Phil Mendelson, Chairman, D.C. Council
Brianne Nadeau, Ward 1 Councilmember
Jack Evans, Ward 2 Councilmember
Mary Cheh, Ward 3 Councilmember
Brandon Todd, Ward 4 Councilmember
Kenyon McDuffie, Ward 5 Councilmember
Charles Allen, Ward 6 Councilmember
Vincent Gray, Ward 7 Councilmember
Trayon White, Ward 8 Councilmember
Elissa Silverman, At-large Councilmember
Robert C. White, At large Councilmember
Anita Bonds, At-large Councilmember
David Grosso, At large Councilmember