If we’re going to help make people’s lives better, and our country more just, Democrats need to lead with big ideas.
That’s why Cory is proposing some of the most ambitious criminal justice reforms in a generation.
A few days ago, he introduced the Next Step Act, which would tackle everything from excessive sentencing guidelines and shameful prison conditions to problematic law enforcement practices and lackluster efforts to help formerly incarcerated Americans re-enter society. He doesn’t just want to decriminalize marijuana offenses — he wants to expunge the records of the people convicted of those crimes in the past to help give them a fresh start, and invest in the communities most harmed by the War on Drugs, namely poor communities and communities of color.
When the news of Paul Manafort’s ridiculously light prison sentence came down, a lot of people were outraged. Trust me: Cory was, too. He told me there was nothing about this criminal justice system that could surprise him anymore.
But ever since I’ve known Cory — which is going on two decades now — it’s what comes after the outrage that sets him apart. He rolls up his sleeves and gets to work. He runs toward the hardest challenges, not away from them. That’s how he wins the battles some think are impossible.
Some people snickered when he pushed for landmark reforms to our justice system in a Republican Congress under President Trump. But Cory led the way to get it done — and the First Step Act was signed into law in December.
And just as the name implies, that was only the first step — now is the time for the next, big step forward.