Action Alert
Support Bill 22-408, The Fare Evasion Decriminalization Act of 2017

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:

  1. Threatening residents with arrest, jail time, and a criminal record for failure to pay a $2 fare is excessively harsh and punitive.

  2. Criminalization of fare evasion is significantly linked to criminalization of poverty.

  3. 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.


Take Action
1 Compose Message
Your Contact Information:
This system requires that you provide your name and contact information. This information will not be used for any purpose other than to identify you to the recipient.
Prefix (required by some officials)
First *
Last *
Email *
Address *
City *
State *
ZIP *
ZIP + 4
Phone (required by some officials)
Fight for Freedom
Get updates on the Fight for Freedom. An informed membership is freedom's best defense. Sign up for ACLU emails to keep informed and know when to act.
Message Recipients:
Jack Evans, Ward 2 Councilmember
Mary Cheh, Ward 3 Councilmember
Trayon White, Ward 8 Councilmember
Brandon Todd, Ward 4 Councilmember
David Grosso, At large Councilmember
Anita Bonds, At-large Councilmember
Robert C. White, At large Councilmember
Kenyon McDuffie, Ward 5 Councilmember
Vincent Gray, Ward 7 Councilmember
Brianne Nadeau, Ward 1 Councilmember
Phil Mendelson, Chairman, D.C. Council
Elissa Silverman, At-large Councilmember
Charles Allen, Ward 6 Councilmember
Delivery Method:
Email
Subject:
Required text:
(this text will appear at the beginning of your message)
As a D.C. resident, I am writing to urge you to support Bill 22-408, the Fare Evasion Decriminalization Act of 2017.

This bill is about recognizing that no one should have to face arrest or jail time for not being able to afford a fare. The punishment is not proportionate to the offense. We also know that the criminalization of minor offenses like fare evasion is significantly linked to the criminalization of poverty, and that these types of laws disproportionately impact communities of color.
Editable text:
(edit or add your own text - 8664 characters left)

Tip: Cutting-and-pasting? Save as plain text first.
Required text:
(this text will appear at the end of your message)
Currently, evading paying a metro fare in D.C. is categorized as a criminal offense. Those who are caught are subject to a fine up to $300, arrest, and up to 10 days in jail. The Fare Evasion Decriminalization Act of 2017 would re-classify these violations as civil offenses punishable by a fine of no more than $100, removing unnecessary and cruel criminal penalties.

Please put your support behind Bill 22-408 and help us bring about smarter, more equitable, and humane policy for the District of Columbia.
Your Closing:
Your Name:

(Please click only once.)