Please join me in saluting members of the Baltimore Ravens Football Team for their socially responsible stance to promote and advance criminal justice reform legislation. A group of Ravens players coupled with team executives has written and met with U.S. Senate leaders in order to urge the passage of THE FIRST STEP ACT.
The legislation extends wider flexibility to judges by empowering them to overlook mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug violations. Our country spends billions of dollars warehousing largely black and brown men on such offensives. The Act would also increase federal funding for rehabilitation programs. In September, the players invited U.S. Senator Ben Cardin -- a co-sponsor of the legislation -- to the Ravens headquarters to discuss their efforts to back the Act.
The team's letter requesting a vote of passage was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Senate leadership. I wish to congratulate the following Ravens players: Javorius Allen, Brandon Carr, Morgan Cox, Matthew Judon, Anthone Levine Sr., Chris Moore, C.J. Mosley, Justin Tucker, and Brandon Williams.
I also wish to congratulate team executives for standing with their players on this important civil and human rights initiative. A special mention is extended to Ravens president Dick Cass, general counsel Brandon Etheridge, community relations director Heather Darney and public relations vice president Chad Steele.
This is a great demonstration of Maryland Strong joining together to make America Strong. The First Step Act is the type of legislation that increases the governance of hope against hindrances caused by a kind of politics that severely limits a way forward for far too many marginalized individuals. TOUCHDOWN, RAVENS!
Rev. Dr. Robert A. F. Turner
Learn more at www.thefirststepact.org