The Salt Lake Community Bail Fund (SLCBF) will host a virtual Halloween Variety Show on October 31, 2020 at 5:00pm MST, featuring live performances from local musicians, comedians, drag queens, and more, along with a silent auction highlighting donated items and gift cards from local businesses. SLCBF is seeking to raise $31,000 to support their efforts to minimize the incarcerated population of Utah jails by providing cash bail to those who cannot afford the posted amount.
Attendees will join the event via Zoom, Facebook or Youtube Live so they can safely celebrate Halloween while watching performances throughout the evening, and participate in the silent auction and audience interactives. Featured performers include music from Marqueza, comedy from William Mierzwa, and a drag performance from Mona Diet. The silent auction will include items from local Salt Lake City businesses such as Alibi, Blue Copper Coffee, and Ken Sanders Rare Books, as well as from local artists, musicians, makers and bakers. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the lively event, show off their Halloween costumes, and learn about the important work SLCBF is doing to end the cash bail system.
“We would like to eliminate and abolish the cash-bail system. We think that the system creates a two-tiered justice system, for those who can pay and those who cannot. It disproportionately criminalizes people who are impoverished” said Emily Iyver, an organizer with the SLCBF. The Bail Fund was able to post their first bail request earlier in October 2020 for someone awaiting trial.
80% of people currently held in Salt Lake County jails have not been convicted of a crime, still presumed innocent under the law, and remain in jail solely because they are unable to afford their bail. Organizers from the SLCBF hope to use funds raised at the Halloween Variety Show to change this, allowing people in Salt Lake County jails the opportunity to return to their family, secure employment, or access important community support services.