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Advocates Rally To Preserve Public Safety Funding Amidst Budget Cuts

Crime victims’ families and victim advocates are calling on California leaders to protect public safety as they balance the budget. Victims and advocates rallied at the Capitol Monday as part of National Crime Victims Rights Week.

Row by row, family members of crime victims stood for a chaplain’s blessing of their loved ones. Then, emotion turned to politics, as Nina Salarno-Ashford with Crime Victims United addressed potentially deep budget cuts facing the governor and state lawmakers.

“We as victims refuse to allow them to balance the budget on the back of crime victims and in jeopardizing public safety,” Salarno-Ashford said.

Gov. Brown attended the entire ceremony. When it was his turn to speak, he issued what he himself called a “political advertisement.”

“You can’t run a prison, you can’t run rehabilitation, you can’t run parole and you can’t run probation on hot air,” Brown said. “You gotta run it with real money.”

Brown asked the crowd to lobby Republicans for his proposed tax extensions.

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