As one of the most difficult years in American history comes to a close, we want to take a moment to extend our most sincere thanks to all of you for sticking with us and remaining committed to the fight for justice and equality in Wisconsin.
Here in Wisconsin, we have witnessed extraordinary expressions of unity and solidarity in the movement for racial justice, with thousands of Wisconsinites pouring onto the streets to demand that centuries of systemic racism and police violence against people of color come to end. We also saw that spirit at our Smart Justice Lobby Day in January, as hundreds of people gathered at the capitol building in Madison to talk with their legislators and insist that they support long overdue reform to our criminal justice system. And we saw that resilience in a big way this election cycle, as the ACLU and our supporters helped to fuel the largest voter turnout this state has ever seen.
As we turn the page on 2020, we can’t be sure exactly of what’s next, but we know that we will need you. There will be many fights ahead, and we will be counting on your support to see us through them. With you by our side, we’re confident we can continue making progress. Here’s a look at some of the work that will be continuing going forward.
Fighting for the lives and wellbeing of incarcerated people. Every day, there are more than 20,000 people incarcerated in Wisconsin prisons, consigned to live within a racist, dehumanizing, and oppressive system. The already brutal conditions of incarceration have been made even worse amid the COVID-19 crisis, and the need for meaningful reform has become all the more urgent.
There have now been nearly 10,000 positive tests overall, and at least 23 deaths throughout the system. We are asking Gov. Tony Evers to stop the prison pandemic. Inaction on the part of our public officials helped lead to this crisis, and the only chance we have at overcoming it is dependent on strong leadership going forward.
Continue to protect the electoral process by advancing proactive reforms that protect voting rights in states across the country and making sure gerrymandering and other abuses don't distort the democratic process. Just a few weeks ago our lawyers were at the Supreme Court defending the Census from the Trump administration's latest unconstitutional attack.
Make meaningful strides to end the police violence that has claimed Black lives for centuries by fighting for a completely reimagined vision of the role, scope, and responsibilities of police in America and a dramatic overhaul of our criminal justice system. We’re committed to our work on racial justice and ending systemic racism embedded in policing, which we have seen with the recent shooting of Jacob Blake by the Kenosha Police Department. The frustration felt by people of color due to their unequal treatment has led to recent protests, where protestors are met with heavy-handed and militarized law enforcement presence in the streets, escalating tensions between police and protestors. We have a right to rise up against the epidemic of police violence and structural racism, and the ACLU of Wisconsin will continue to work to support the movement for racial justice and protect the rights of protestors.