The following is a statement from Laquita Garcia, Policy Coordinator with the Texas Organizing Project (TOP), in response to the Bexar County Commissioners Court today voting to increase funding for the Bexar County Public Defender’s Office:
“Today’s vote to expand the public defender’s office brings us one pivotal step closer toward ensuring ALL in Bexar County have access to the fair legal representation they deserve. This homegrown community win is the result of months of hard work from Texas Organizing Project staff and members that sprouted from surveying hundreds of people outside the Bexar County Visitation Center before the pandemic on what they would like to see changed in their local legal system.
“Public defenders play such a critical role in protecting the constitutional rights of our communities’ most marginalized, yet it is atrocious how little our federal, state, and local governments invest in making sure they have the funds and resources needed to fully do their jobs. In addition, they play an essential part in alleviating local jail populations, which in return chips away at our nation’s scourge of mass incarceration.
“We are proud of this win, and TOP’s Bexar County Right2Justice campaign is excited to further build on it.”
Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris and Bexar counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.