February 22, 2013
Big Mo, Cap'n Mo...it's momentum. And no matter what you call it, we've got it. Support for sentencing reform is growing and we are fired up to be a part of it. This week was a perfect example of the exciting things that are happening around the country.
On Sunday, the New York Times published this powerful editorial calling for the end of federal mandatory minimums. The editors wrote: "The trouble with mandatory minimum sentences is that it is impossible to make them fair and just in every case." Bingo!
That same day, the Chicago Sun-Times published my op-ed urging state leaders to think twice before hastily passing new mandatory minimums for gun crimes. Long story short: We've seen this movie before and we don't like how it ends!
On Tuesday, we saluted Georgia's governor and key lawmakers for introducing a bill to take some of the sting out of the state's mandatory minimum laws. The leaders proposed a "safety valve" that FAMM had recommended. We plan to stay engaged until the bill is signed into law.
On Wednesday, we went to Hollywood. Well, Hollywood came to us. We hosted a screening of the new action movie "Snitch" starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at a Washington, DC theater. The movie's director, Ric Roman Waugh, joined me, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Lawrence and Lamont Garrison for a panel discussion on mandatory minimums after the show. Tell your friends and family to check out the movie (it opens today) and send them to www.takepart.com/snitch to get involved in the fight for reform!
I was up early Thursday morning to join a panel of conservatives and liberals on Capitol Hill to brief a room full of congressional staffers about criminal justice policies run amok. I ended the day with a nationally televised interview by Current TV about the incredible toll mandatory minimums take on prisoners and their families.
What a week!
We need to keep this momentum going. You can help by contributing to FAMM today. It's become a fundraising cliche, but we really can't do it without you. But, together, after this week, I am convinced more than ever that we can make big changes happen.