Non-profit

Alliance for Safety and Justice Action Fund

Website:

allianceforsafetyandjustice.org

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Project of:

Advocacy Fund (Tides Foundation)

Type:

Criminal Justice Reform Advocacy Group

Affiliated Organizations:

Alliance for Safety and Justice

Californians for Safety and Justice

The Alliance for Safety and Justice Action Fund (ASJ Action) is a lobbying and campaigning group affiliated with the Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ), an activist organization that promotes left-of-center criminal justice policies. ASJ Action is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund, which creates and supports left-of-center advocacy organizations and is itself part of the Tides Nexus, an alliance of powerful left-of-center grantmaking and coordinating organizations. [1]

Overview

ASJ Action lobbies and campaigns for political candidates and officials to advance left-of-center criminal justice policies. These include incarcerating fewer criminals and increasing funding for social programs. [2] ASJ also advocates for removing legal barriers that allegedly prevent convicted criminals from fully participating in society. ASJ supports legislation that would seal criminal records in order to prevent potential employers from finding them and endorses efforts to repeal laws that bar convicted felons from voting. [3]

A July 2020 job posting by the nonprofit consulting firm Fiscal Management Associates indicates that ASJ Action also works as the lobbying and campaigning arm of Californians for Safety and Justice (CSJ), ASJ’s sister organization. [4] CSJ is another project of the Tides Center and promotes many of the same initiatives as ASJ. [5] The organization also provides instructions to assist convicted felons in retroactively reducing the severity of their crimes as they appear on their criminal records in accordance with Proposition 47, a 2014 California law that reclassified certain types of felony theft and drug possession as misdemeanors. [6][7]

Tides Advocacy, which is ASJ Action’s fiscal sponsor, claims that it receives no support from the Tides Foundation, the grantmaking organization at the center of the Tides Nexus. In 2018, however, the right-of-center Capital Research Center reported that Tides Advocacy received more than $6.2 million from the Foundation between 2010 and 2014. [8]

Political Impact

For its first major initiative, ASJ Action sponsored Proposition 47, a California ballot initiative which passed in 2014 to reduce the classification of certain types of theft and drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. [9] In 2016, ASJ Action helped lead the coalition in support of Proposition 57, which passed and loosened the requirements for parole and early release from California prisons. [10][11]

During the 2020 election cycle, ASJ Action gave more than $4 million to a group called Arizonans for Second Chances, Rehabilitation, and Public Safety. [12] On its Facebook page, the group claims to support the Second Chances, Rehabilitation, and Public Safety Act. [13] The ballot initiative aimed to repeal several mandatory sentencing laws in Arizona, but the initiative never made it to a vote due to an excessive signature failure rate. [14] The organization’s website is now defunct. [15][16]

Controversies

In July 2020, the right-of-center Arizona Daily Independent ran an article which reported that Arizona House Speaker Russell Bowers (R—Maricopa) and Senate President Karen Fann (R—Yavapai) hired a firm called Arizona Grassroots Advocates to assist with their re-election campaigns. The firm had received $30,000 from Arizonans for Second Chances, Rehabilitation, and Public Safety, which in turn was funded by ASJ Action. The article pointed out that ASJ Action’s parent organization, Tides Advocacy, had received tens of millions of dollars from the Foundation to Promote Open Society and the Open Society Foundations, both part of the powerful left-of-center Soros Network. The article criticized Bowers and Fann for hiring a firm that received funding from a left-of-center foundation that opposes right-of-center criminal justice policies. [17]

Financials

In addition to funding from Tides Advocacy, ASJ Action has received several grants from the Open Philanthropy Project Fund, a Silicon Valley-based charity. Open Philanthropy contributed $1 million to ASJ Action in 2017 and $2 million in 2018. [18][19] The Ballmer Group, a left-of-center grantmaking organization, has also contributed to ASJ Action as part of a series of grants to groups aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement. [20]

References

  1.        “Our History,” Alliance for Safety and Justice. Accessed March 3, 2021.

    Our Supporters

    ^

  2.        Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://cssj.org/#resources ^
  3. Time Done. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://timedone.org/ ^
  4.     “Accountant, Alliance for Safety and Justice,” Fiscal Management Associates. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://fmaonline.net/2020/07/ ^
  5.        “What We Do,” Californians for Safety and Justice. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://safeandjust.org/about-us/ ^
  6.        “Proposition 47: The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” California Courts. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.courts.ca.gov/prop47.ht ^
  7.        “Prop 47 Record Changing Resources,” Californians for Safety and Justice. Accessed March 3, 2021.https://safeandjust.org/prop-47-resources/ ^
  8. Hayden Ludwig, “Why Does the Advocacy Fund Hide Its Tides Funding?,” Capital Research Center, March 2, 2018. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://capitalresearch.org/article/why-does-the-advocacy-fund-hide-its-tides-funding/ ^
  9. “Californians for Safety and Justice,” Tides Network. Accessed March 3, 2021.

    Californians for Safety and Justice

    ^

  10.           “California Proposition 57, Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements (2016),” Ballotpedia. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_57,_Parole_for_Non-Violent_Criminals_and_Juvenile_Court_Trial_Requirements_(2016) ^
  11.        “Californians for Safety and Justice,” Tides Network. Accessed March 3, 2021.https://www.tides.org/story/californians-safety-justice/ ^
  12.        “Alliance for Safety and Justice Action Fund a Project of Tides Advocacy,” Transparency USA. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.transparencyusa.org/az/donor/alliance-for-safety-and-justice-action-fund-a-project-of-tides-advocacy/donations ^
  13.      Arizonans for Second Chances, Rehabilitation, and Public Safety, Facebook. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.facebook.com/pg/secondchancesaz/about/?ref=page_internal ^
  14.        Howard Fischer, “Proposed changes to criminal punishments may be headed to ballot,” Arizona Capitol Times, July 4, 2020. Accessed March 3, 2021.

    Proposed changes to criminal punishments may be headed to ballot

    ^

  15.        SecondChancesAZ.com. Accessed March 3, 2021. http://www.secondchancesaz.com/ ^
  16.        Jimmy Jenkins, “Second Chances Act Ballot Initiative Fails To Clear Arizona Secretary Of State’s Signature Review,” KJZZ 91.5, August 15, 2020. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://kjzz.org/content/1609733/second-chances-act-ballot-initiative-fails-clear-arizona-secretary-states-signature ^
  17.        “Republican Legislative Victory Fund Managed By Group With Ties To Soros’ Effort,” Arizona Daily Independent, July 1, 2020. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2020/07/01/republican-legislative-victory-fund-managed-by-group-with-ties-to-soros-effort/ ^
  18.         “Alliance for Safety and Justice Action Fund – General Support (2017),” Open Philanthropy. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/criminal-justice-reform/alliance-safety-and-justice-action-fund-general-support-2017 ^
  19.        “Alliance for Safety and Justice Action Fund – General Support (2018),” Open Philanthropy. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/criminal-justice-reform/alliance-safety-and-justice-action-fund-general-support-2018 ^
  20. “Grantees supporting racial equity in predominantly Black communities,” Ballmer Group. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.ballmergroup.org/black-lives-matter# ^
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