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Cunningham: Talk to us about bail reform


Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) has been silent on bail reform. As a member of Bend the Arc SLO, a Jewish social justice organization, we are advocating for reform of the cash bail system that keeps the poor, working class, mentally ill, and racial and ethnic minorities in jail simply because they can't afford bail. Did you know that the 10 percent of bail paid to a bail bondsman is nonrefundable—even if you appear in court? That means an average of $5,000 in out-of-pocket expenses for a crime you may not have committed. In fact, 60 percent of California's jail population is merely awaiting trial.

We have tried on numerous occasions to meet with Assemblyman Cunningham. Meetings scheduled months in advance have been canceled. He turned down our request to be on a panel at Congregation Beth David. He's taken money from bail agents, and he spoke at the California Bail Agents Association in January. We've requested his remarks to the bail agents but have been met with silence.

Legislation will be coming before the California Legislature to reform the current system. Doesn't Assemblyman Cunningham have a responsibility to be transparent with his constituents?

Elie Axelroth

San Luis Obispo

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