Session is Over…

Session is over, and for the past nine weeks, J4A Leaders set out to change who decides and who benefits. We put in hours of volunteer work, we told our stories boldly and came together in powerful and meaningful ways. We repeatedly proclaimed that we believe in a Minnesota where people have the power to make the decisions that affect our communities, our lives and our futures. Here is a sample of what we did together.

We Won Some Stuff: Shoulder to shoulder with allies, we supported a modest sentencing reform package that will reduce the prison population significantly over the next five years. We continued our fight for the restoration of voting rights and while it did not pass as a law, due to a variety of dynamic and strategic work done by allies, the bill did advance in the Senate for the 3rd time. Finally, we fought side by side with allies to prevent a privet prison from opening in Appleton MN and were successful.

We Built: This Session, J4A Leaders connected our work to Minnesotans across the state. We started out the year at Lino Lakes Prison building with our partners at Voices for Racial Justice and the brave men incarcerated at Lino Lakes Correctional Facility. We connected that conversation to folks in Linden Hills leading conversations on race and the justice system. We built online reaching 1.4 million accounts on Twitter through our work with the MPLS NAACP and the Restore the Vote Coalition. We launched our monthly J4A Community Member Meeting and created a space for people to talk about how they have been impacted by the justice system, and plan strategies to advance our campaigns.

We Told Our Story: For five weeks, we called thousands of MN’s in Greater MN and un-apologetically told our stories. Not a week went by when legislators didn’t hear about our issues. J4A Leaders had LTE’s and an Op-ed in the Strib, and we confronted GOP House Member Tim Miller on Minnesota Public Radio. By the end of Session, we faced off with GOP House Members and debated them face to face, at the Capitol, in public forums and even on the North Side. As a result, many have voiced public support for our issues and we plan on continuing the debate through the election this Fall.

Session is over, and we are just getting started! This summer, J4A Leaders will be in the community focusing on outreach and political education. Join us as we take the fight for Justice to the doors, to Greater MN and all the way to polls this Fall. Do you or someone you know have a story about the Justice System, or have been set up to fail and are facing barriers to employment and housing? Come out June 2nd to the next J4A Member Meeting! CLICK HERE and help us put together a plan to demand Justice 4 All.