Van Jones, Pat Nolan, Donna Brazile and Newt Gingrich host the Bipartisan Summit on Criminal Justice Reform (March 2015).
#cut50 proposes a bold vision for the future, and our strategy and tactics must be equally bold. Through this campaign we call on the best minds in the country to engage the public in a conversation about the need for a criminal justice system that is designed to respond to today's problems. We will accomplish this in three ways:
- Communicate. We need a powerful new narrative about the incarceration industry’s failures, and the urgent opportunity for bold bipartisan change. #cut50 can utilize our unique connections to build and extend this message to the American people in creative, engaging ways. This will include innovative media creation, including videos, op-eds, info-graphics, celebrity and public figure endorsements, and digital advocacy tools. We will partner with Hollywood, and the art, design, and music communities in the fight to reform our prison system. We will also publish a book co-edited by Newt Gingrich and Van Jones, featuring chapters from high-profile leaders from across the political spectrum. #cut50 will mainstream the idea that bold change at the state and federal levels is both necessary and possible.
- Convene. There is an opportunity and a need to bring together a broader, more diverse coalition to tackle mass incarceration. These unlikely allies can bring in new ideas, energy, perspectives and resources. #cut50 can convene these allies online and in person. We will host targeted national and regional convenings to highlight bipartisan solutions that reduce incarceration, cut costs, and protect public safety.
These convenings will also provide an opportunity to demonstrate bipartisan support for bold change, and include support from the technology sector, Labor, Hollywood, and Wall Street. In 2015, our convenings will culminate in a bipartisan event at March 26th in Washington, co-chaired by Newt Gingrich, Van Jones, Pat Nolan and Donna Brazile, which will garner major media attention.
- Catalyze. There are smart bipartisan solutions out there; #cut50 can ensure that they have the support of a broad coalition, and get them to the people who can use them. We will hold Congressional Briefings, starting with a briefing in January featuring Senator Cory Booker, Senator Rand Paul and Speaker Newt Gingrich, and then hold similar briefings for state leaders. We are partnering with national organizations to develop an online database of policy solutions that can cut the prison population with bipartisan support.
We will place a special focus on states that can impact the national debate during the 2016 election season, as well as both major political parties. In these key, “bellwether” states, we will identify and support bold bipartisan policy solutions, convene national and local leaders, and mobilize diverse constituencies. We believe that our efforts in these highly visible states will help catalyze debate and discussion all across the country.