Word on the street is that the House may actually be ready to move on sentencing reform -- not on S. 2123, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, but on two bills that would, put together, accomplish most of what S. 2123 would accomplish. H.R. 3713, the Sentencing Reform Act, would allow judges to issue sentences shorter than mandatory minimum sentences for certain non-violent drug offenders; it would also reduce mandatory minimums for other offenders and make the crack/powder cocaine sentencing reforms of 2010 retroactive, as S. 2123 would do. And H.R. 759, the Recidivism Risk Reduction Act, would direct our government to build a "Post-Sentencing Risk and Needs Assessment System" that would help give prisoners the kind of productive activities that would help them avoid breaking the law again -- and that is the slab of S. 2123 that H.R. 3713 doesn't address. So the Friends Committee on National Legislation helps you tell your Congressfolk to support H.R. 3713 and H.R. 759, and thus bring some sentencing reform to America.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has allowed a few pork processors to run high-speed pig slaughterhouses, which (and stop me if you've heard this before!) run some 20 percent faster than most slaughterhouses and have (sigh) less government oversight. Because, as we know, running slaughterhouses even faster is automatically better in every way! It creates even healthier pigs than factory farms already do with their filthy housing and antibiotic overuse! And slaughtering pigs faster never results in more food contamination, injured workers, or increased cruelty at the hands of overworked, frustrated workers! Of course, this USDA program is only a "pilot program," but that's how the USDA does its dirty work -- pork processing corporations don't want to give up all that money they're redistributing upward from workers and consumers to themselves, nor do they want to welcome federal inspectors back into their facilities if they can help it. Hence CREDO helps you tell the USDA to stop their high-speed pig slaughter program.
Finally, Sign for Good helps you tell Congress to enact four reforms that would expand voting rights and curtail the deleterious effect of big money in political campaigns. Which are almost the same thing, if you think about it -- votes mean rather little when Congressfolk only talk to the corporations that give them the most money. The bills that would directly expand voting rights are, of course, the Voting Rights Advancement Act (which would give the Voting Rights Act the teeth the Supreme Court knocked out in Shelby v. Holder) and the Voter Empowerment Act (which would increase citizen access to online and same-day voter registration). The campaign finance initiatives are the "Democracy for All" constitutional amendment (which would amend the Constitution to allow federal and state governments to make campaign finance laws again) and the Fair Elections Now Act (which would create a small donor-based public campaign finance system). Corporatists can speak very, very loudly with their money, but the people are still stronger -- if we make ourselves heard.