An Inclusive Litany

1/14/02

From a congressional press release, December 4, 2001:
Rep. Capps Secures Funding for San Luis Obispo County Tattoo Removal Program

Washington, D.C.—Congresswoman Lois Capps today announced that she secured $50,000 for the Liberty Tattoo Removal Program of San Luis Obispo County in the final Justice Department Appropriations bill. Capps requested the funding in an April letter to the Subcommittee's Chairman.

"People with tattoos often find themselves being unfairly stereotyped in a way that makes it difficult to find employment or be promoted to higher, better paying positions. The Liberty Tattoo Program works with people in our community to help erase this social stigma. I'm proud to work with this excellent local program to expand the services it can provide with the help of federal funds," said Rep. Capps.

The funding will be used to hire a full-time program coordinator and for education to deter students from getting tattoos. The Economic Opportunity Commission runs the program with support from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office and Probation Department, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, Sierra Vista Hospital, General Hospital, Santa Lucia Bank, the Rotary Club of Nipomo and others. In order to be eligible, a person's tattoo must be gang-related or anti-social and prevent someone from finding employment or otherwise interfere with the person's daily life. In addition, participants must agree not to get any additional tattoos and must complete a minimum of 16 hours of public service.

'San Luis Obispo County appreciates the efforts of Representative Lois Capps to secure funding for EOC Health Services' Liberty Tattoo Removal Program. People with visible, inappropriate tattoos often encounter negative attitudes, stereotyping and discrimination, resulting in unemployment, underemployment or the inability to move forward in their careers. This program supports people who are trying to make a change in their lives by removing these negative marks of distinction, as well as the physical and psychological barriers they create," said Economic Opportunity Commission of San Luis Obispo County Executive Director Elizabeth "Biz" Steinberg after hearing about the funding.

The program was modeled after and mentored by the Liberty Tattoo Removal Program of Santa Barbara.

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