U.S. Senate: Pass the First Step Act.

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My name is Gianno Caldwell. Last week, I traveled to D.C. to lobby for one of the most important measures of my lifetime - the First Step Act.

In the name of genuine criminal-justice reform, I would like to see the First Step Act pass on the floor of the Senate this month prior to the end of legislative session. The Republican-controlled Senate can make this happen.

The First Step Act was first introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill), among others. It would reduce mandatory sentences for some drug-related felonies, make more low-level offenders eligible for early release, and provide more funding for programs to help released prisoners become law-abiding citizens and avoid committing new crimes.

A version of the bill passed the house this year and the Senate now only has two weeks to act on this bill before the bill is dead and the process would have to start over again in a much more difficult environment which would make it almost impossible to see movement on this issue for years to come.

Why so personal? In 2014, there were 6.8 million people within the corrections population, including federal prisons, state prisons, jails and on parole. And, of those 6.8 million – the largest population in the world under the corrections system — 34 percent of those folks are African-American, or 2.3 million people. Statistically, it impacts many African-Americans in this country.

To be clear, the First Step Act is a bill that every American of every color and background can be proud of because it provides a second chance and a more just and evenhanded justice system. Please sign this petition and send it to your friends and family because the lives of countless Americans depend on it

The First Step Act is supported by major law enforcement groups such as the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the National District Attorneys Association. In addition, it is supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Koch network, evangelical Christian groups, and Van Jones Cut 50 organization.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to right the wrongs of the disastrous Crime Bill of 1994 and to show Americans are committed to genuine Justice for all and care about one of the most systematic and destructive issues impacting communities across the nation today.

Please SIGN THE PETITION BELOW and send to your friends and family everywhere. Check my Instagram account for updates on this very important legislation - @GiannoCaldwell.

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