Non-profit

The Appeal

Website:

theappeal.org

Type:

Criminal Justice Reform Advocacy Website

Project of:

Tides Advocacy

The Appeal is a left-of-center criminal law activism group created and by Tides Advocacy, formerly the “Tsunami Fund”, an organization that incubates and financially supports left-of-center organizations. The Appeal has supported the Black Lives Matter movement, advocated for lowering the budget of police departments, and argued for shifting the cost of maintaining prisons from the state to county level to reduce the overall number of incarcerations.

Funding

Tides Advocacy does not report its expenses related to funding the Appeal to the IRS;[1] however, The Appeal states that Tides Advocacy “provides operational support, including payroll, benefits, and human resources assistance to” the Appeal. The Appeal also provides on its website that it has in the past received $1,000,000 and over from Open Society, Meadow Fund, Ballmer Group, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. [2]

The Appeal also provides that it received $500,000 and over each from the Shusterman Foundation and Vanguard Charitable, $250,000 and over each from Vital Projects, Galaxy Gives, and FWD.us, and 100,000 and over from the Barton Family Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Mountain Philanthropy, Solidarity Giving, $50,000 and over from Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and $10,000 and over from the Robert and Maurine Rothschild Fund. [3]

Incarceration and Death Penalty

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Appeal advocated for the release of prison inmates. The Appeal argued for the release of prison inmates by providing prison statistics on infection rates. [4] The Appeal also pushed against state health agencies and criticized them for not including infection rates in prisons in the state’s total infection rate estimated. [5]

The Appeal has suggested that legislation should be passed to shift the cost of incarceration from states to localities. The objective of such a policy is to decrease spending on prisons and increase the cost of housing inmates. The Appeal used a study by Aurelie Ouss, an assistant professor of criminology at the University of Pennsylvania, to support its position. The study found that changes to California law that increased the portion of money counties contributed to juvenile detention centers led to a significant drop in the total number of juvenile arrests and incarcerations. [6]

In 2020, the Appeal criticized former Governor of Virginia and 2021 Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D) for his record on the death penalty. [7]  McAuliffe is the only Democratic Party governor in recent history to follow state capital punishment laws. [8] While personally opposed to the death penalty, McAuliffe has to date followed Virginia capital punishment laws in at least some cases by refusing to grant clemency. [9] The Appeal criticized McAuliffe for not following other Democratic Party governors who had placed moratoriums on the death penalty. [10]

Policing

The Appeal criticized Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) for ordering the raising of bridges separating downtown Chicago on November 3, 2020, referring to the act as a “kettling practice” that allowed police to arrest left-wing activists seeking to protest the election night result. [11]

The Appeal has similarly objected to arrests at Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and has criticized prosecutors for using organized gang activity laws, in cases where organizing is involved, to attempt to prosecute violent BLM demonstrators. [12]

Politics

The Appeal has supported a letter by 35 members of Congress that asked President Joe Biden to commute the sentences of the 50 individuals on federal death row. [13]  The Appeal advocated that President Biden commute the sentences of all 50 individuals to life in prison, and stressed that he has unilateral authority to do so if he chooses. [14]

The Appeal has criticized the Biden administration for nominating Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh (D) to serve as his Secretary of Labor. [15] The Appeal was critical of the nomination because as mayor, Walsh did not require police to stand down during the BLM protests of 2020, as was the case in other Democratic Party-led cities, and referred to his refusal to weaken policing in Boston in light of violent protests a “fail[ure] to rein in police brutality in Boston.” [16]

References

  1. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Tides Advocacy. 2019. ^
  2. “About the Appeal – Our Supports). The Appeal. https://theappeal.org/about/ ^
  3. “About the Appeal – Our Supports). The Appeal. https://theappeal.org/about/ ^
  4. Davis, Kelly. “CORONAVIRUS IN JAILS AND PRISONS” The Appeal. November 6, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2021. https://theappeal.org/coronavirus-in-jails-and-prisons-76/ ^
  5. Davis, Kelly. “CORONAVIRUS IN JAILS AND PRISONS” The Appeal. November 6, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2021. https://theappeal.org/coronavirus-in-jails-and-prisons-76/ ^
  6. Vaugh, Joshua. “SHIFTING INCARCERATION COSTS TO COUNTIES COULD MEAN FEWER PEOPLE IN PRISONS AND JAILS, STUDY SUGGESTS” The Appeal. December 9, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2021. https://theappeal.org/shifting-incarceration-costs-to-cou        nties-could-mean-fewer-people-in-prisons-and-jails-study-suggests/ ^
  7. Weil-Greenberg, Elizabeth. The Appeal. December 11, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2021. “TERRY MCAULIFFE’S RECORD ON THE DEATH PENALTY IS OUT OF STEP WITH NATIONAL TRENDS” https://theappeal.org/terry-mcauliffe-death-penalty-governor-record/ ^
  8. Weil-Greenberg, Elizabeth. The Appeal. December 11, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2021. “TERRY MCAULIFFE’S RECORD ON THE DEATH PENALTY IS OUT OF STEP WITH NATIONAL TRENDS” https://theappeal.org/terry-mcauliffe-death-penalty-governor-record/ ^
  9. Weil-Greenberg, Elizabeth. The Appeal. December 11, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2021. “TERRY MCAULIFFE’S RECORD ON THE DEATH PENALTY IS OUT OF STEP WITH NATIONAL TRENDS” https://theappeal.org/terry-mcauliffe-death-penalty-governor-record/ ^
  10. Weil-Greenberg, Elizabeth. The Appeal. December 11, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2021. “TERRY MCAULIFFE’S RECORD ON THE DEATH PENALTY IS OUT OF STEP WITH NATIONAL TRENDS” https://theappeal.org/terry-mcauliffe-death-penalty-governor-record/ ^
  11. Dukmasova, Maya. The Appeal. “CHICAGO’S MAYOR TURNS CITY’S INFRASTRUCTURE INTO WEAPONS AGAINST PROTESTERS” The Appeal. November 13, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2021. https://theappeal.org/chicago-mayor-bridges-protest/ ^
  12. O’Connor, Meg. The Appeal. “THEY TOOK UMBRELLAS TO A BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTEST. THE D.A. HIT THEM WITH GANG CHARGES” https://theappeal.org/maricopa-county-black-lives-matter-protest-gang-charges/ ^
  13. O’Connor, Meg. The Appeal. “THEY TOOK UMBRELLAS TO A BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTEST. THE D.A. HIT THEM WITH GANG CHARGES” https://theappeal.org/maricopa-county-black-lives-matter-protest-gang-charges/ ^
  14. O’Connor, Meg. The Appeal. “MEMBERS OF CONGRESS CALL ON BIDEN TO COMMUTE EVERYONE ON FEDERAL DEATH ROW” January 22, 2021. Accessed March 6, 2021. https://theappeal.org/members-of-congress-biden-commute-death-row/ ^
  15. Iannelli, Jerry. “BOSTON MAYOR MARTY WALSH’S LEGACY OF EMPTY PROMISES” The Appeal. January 12, 2021. Accessed March 6, 2021. https://theappeal.org/boston-mayor-marty-walshs-legacy-of-empty-promises/ ^
  16. Iannelli, Jerry. “BOSTON MAYOR MARTY WALSH’S LEGACY OF EMPTY PROMISES” The Appeal. January 12, 2021. Accessed March 6, 2021. https://theappeal.org/boston-mayor-marty-walshs-legacy-of-empty-promises/ ^
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