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In Boston, GBIO Wins Commitments from Legislators on Criminal Justice

In the past month, GBIO leaders held In-District Meetings with two Massachusetts State Senators and three Representatives, met five additional Representatives in their offices, and made hundreds of phone calls — continuing to build support for four key reforms to the criminal justice system: repealing mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, pretrial and bail reform, reducing/eliminating fees and fines, and shortening length of time spent in solitary confinement.

On June 5th, at the MA State House, GBIO leaders presented testimony and had a strong showing at the Joint Judiciary Committee Hearing on bills for three of these four reforms.

At the May 18th In-District meeting, at First Parish UU, 40 leaders secured commitment on all four legislative priorities from Sen. Sal DiDomenico and Rep. Marjorie Decker, and on two (pretrial and bail reform, reducing/eliminating fees/fines) from Rep. Boncore.

On June 8th, at Fourth Presbyterian Church, nearly 60 leaders secured commitment for all four legislative priorities from Rep. Holmes, and for at least three of the four, from Rep. Cullinane’s staff. Sen. Forry canceled at the last minute. Fired up by Sen. Forry's cancelation, attendees committed to making an in-office visit, and more than 40 phone calls to her office, on June 9th. They posted to social media that they carried on their meeting without Sen. Forry's attendance.

In addition, leaders met with Reps. Malia, Rushing, Sanchez, and Stanley. Each of these representatives committed to at least two of GBIO’s four legislative priorities.

In the coming months, GBIO’s criminal justice team plans to push legislative action on these issues to other parts of Massachusetts, through denominational relations in the AME, Presbyterian, UU, UCC, Reconstructionist Jewish and Reform Jewish congregations across the state, as well as through friend/family networks of GBIO members.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 16:27