Author, activist, and CNN news commentator Van Jones, a dear friend and mentor to Pachamama Alliance for many years, has recently given us a rare chance to celebrate bipartisan collaboration in the highest levels of the U.S. government. He has been the driving force behind an amazing piece of legislation for criminal justice reform, which he worked on with conservative Republicans including Newt Gingrich, the Koch brothers, and Jared Kushner. Check out this video of Van and Mark Holden, the General Counsel for Koch Industries, on their unexpected collaboration.
Over the holidays, Democrats and Republicans in Congress came together to pass the First Step Act, which was signed into law by the president just hours before he shut down the government. Van calls it “a Christmas miracle.”
The First Step Act is the first real reform in our criminal justice system in more than two decades. In this video, Van gives an overview of what it means for prisoners in federal prisons and how it came to be passed by big majorities in both houses. If you want more info, read this article on 10 Reasons to Celebrate the First Step Act.
What reflections do you have on reaching across the divide?