Thursday, December 23, 2010
Eddy Zheng needs your support now!
After serving over 20 years behind bars for a robbery he committed at age 16, Chinese American community leader Eddy Zheng now faces deportation to China, a huge loss to the Bay Area community. Released from prison in 2007, Eddy has dedicated his life to preventing youth violence and delinquency through his work at the Community Youth Center, Community Response Network, and many other SF Bay Area programs and organizations. Flawed immigration laws make Eddy deportable to China, although Eddy has already served his sentence and was found suitable to re-enter society by Governor Schwarzenegger himself.
Eddy Zheng has submitted an application for clemency with Governor Schwarzenegger. Please tell the Governor to grant Eddy a pardon, which may prevent Eddy’s deportation to China.
Why is this an important time to take action?
Governor Schwarzenegger will be termed out when the new Governor takes office on January 3, 2011. Many governors have historically granted pardons before they leave office. We want to take advantage of this opportunity by making a strong PUSH for Eddy's pardon during the governor’s last week in office.
What can you do?!
Sign the Change.org petition to show that there is community support for Eddy! Pass it along and ask your friends to sign too. This is a different petition from one that was recently circulated on Change.org, so even if you think you've signed it double check and sign again.
Why does Eddy deserve a pardon?
After being convicted as an adult for a crime he committed when he was 16 years old, Eddy served over 20 years behind bars where he transformed himself into a renowned prisoner rights advocate, youth mentor, poet, and author. In 2005, Eddy won his parole only by demonstrating to the parole board and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that he was a model inmate who acknowledged his mistakes, expressed remorse for his crime, and did everything he could to improve himself. At his parole hearing Eddy had letters of support from the judge who originally sentenced him, the Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted him, a former director of the California Department of Corrections, and dozens of state legislators, local politicians, and community leaders.
Today, as a Program Manager for youth outreach programs in the San Francisco Bay Area, Eddy is an asset to the community. Eddy’s immigrant teenage years in Oakland and his incarceration experience have enabled him to conduct effective outreach and intervention strategies for youth, many of whom who are at-risk for entering the criminal justice system.
Eddy has already served his time for his crime. It is unfair for him to be punished twice for the same crime. Keep Eddy at home with his family and his community!
Background info on Eddy Zheng:
Hyphen Magazine: http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/magazine/issue-14-spaces/inside-men
Eddy's blog: http://eddyzheng.blogspot.com/
Facebook event link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=122495144479516
List of Awards and Committees:
- 2009 Department of Children Youth and their Families Roots Fellow
- 2008 “Outstanding Leadership Award” from the Bay Area Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
- 2007 “Community Hero Award” from the Chinese language newspaper World Journal
- Mayor appointed council member of the San Francisco Safe Community Reentry Council
- Member of the San Francisco central police station Citizen Advisory Board
- National Advisory board member of Asian American Law Journal
- Co-Chair of Asian Prisoners’ Support Committee based in Oakland
- Co-Author of “Other: An Asian and Pacific Islander Prisoners’ Anthology”
Partial List of Supporters for Eddy’s release from prison and immigration detention:
• San Francisco Board of Supervisors
• San Francisco Youth Commission
• Michael Honda, US Congressman
• Barbara Lee, US Congresswoman
• Mark Leno, CA State Senator
• Leland Yee, CA State Senator
• Loni Hancock, CA State Senator
• Carol Liu, CA State Senator
• Gloria Romero, CA State Senator
• Don Perata, former CA Senate President Pro Tem
• John Burton, former CA Senate President Pro Tem
• Sheila Kuehl, former CA State Senator
• Byron Sher, former CA State Senator
• John Vasconcellos, former CA State Senator
• Judy Chu, U.S. Congresswoman
• Phil Ting, SF Assessor-Recorder
• Jane Kim, SF Board of Education
• Eric Mar, SF Board of Supervisors
• Alice Lai-Bitker, Alameda County Supervisor
• Wilma Chan, Alameda County Supervisor
• Jerry Enomoto, former Director, CA Dept of Corrections
• Chris Nedeau, former SF District Attorney who prosecuted Eddy Zheng
• Rev. Norman Fong, SF Chinatown Presbyterian Church
• Dale Minami, Minami Tamaki LLP
• Victor Hwang, SF Assistant District Attorney
• Yuri Kochiyama, Community Activist
• Isami Arifuku, National Council on Crime and Delinquency
* organizations listed for ID purposes only