Given that Senate Majority Leader McConnell (E-KY) has graciously allowed the Senate to vote on S. 3649, the FIRST STEP Act, now's a very good time to let the Drug Policy Alliance help you tell your Reps and Senators to support criminal justice reform by passing it. S. 3649 isn't everything we want, etc., but it would reduce some mandatory minimums, expand the "safety valve" for judges to grant sentences below mandatory minimums, and prevent prosecutors from heaping on longer sentences for firearm possession during first offenses. All of these things will help us actually rehabilitate prisoners (which is what civilized people do!), rather than simply heap more punishments on people in the vain hope that we'll look tougher. Sen. Cotton (E-AK) will try to sabotage the bill with amendments that would gut the bill, because he's so "tough," I guess. But how about regular Americans have a say here, rather than just law-and-order peacocks?
Meanwhile, Congress has also let the Land and Water Conservation Fund expire, as of September 30, so Penn Environment helps you tell your Congressfolk to support conservation efforts by reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Do not brook any absurd complaints from your Congressfolk about "fiscal responsibility" or hysterical hand-wringing about how it'll be "paid for," because it's their job to know that taxes don't actually fund the LWCF; royalties from oil and gas drilling do. They can't believe that "fiscal responsibility" is all about letting oil and gas drilling corporations get away with paying less money in royalties to the American taxpayer, can they? Well, our Congressfolk do believe a lot of strange things -- one of them apparently being that you can just let popular and well-running programs expire without suffering any consequences. They sure are lucky we're here to remind them of the consequences.
Finally, our President has nominated former George H.W. Bush-era Attorney General William Barr to succeed former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and if you're thinking a Bush-era Attorney General would be an improvement over Mr. Sessions or Mr. Whittaker, well, William Rivers Pitt at TruthOut reminds you that Mr. Barr did not exactly do yeoman work for the senior Mr. Bush. And he not only comes from an era that prescribed more punishment as the solution to every criminal justice problem, he's never left it! Even worse, he has long been an adherent of the notion that the President Must Always Be Obeyed, just like Supreme Court Justices Alito and Kavanaugh. Gosh, listen to such men and you'd never know our Founders rebelled against exactly the sort of fellow who thought he was right all the time and everyone had to bend to his will! So the Drug Policy Alliance helps youtell your Senators to reject the nomination of Mr. Barr as Attorney General.