ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Now that Democrats will hold supermajorities in both of New York State’s legislative chambers, progressive members and advocates are calling for the passage of a “Justice Roadmap.”
“That means that we have the opportunity to make history through urgent and essential criminal justice and immigrant justice reform,” said Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou.
More than 150 advocacy groups have signed onto the “Justice Roadmap,” or legislative agenda for 2021 supporting issues like raising the age of juvenile delinquency and eliminating parole and probation fees. Rallies were held in support of the package of bills from New York City to Buffalo.
“We stand together for bold systemic change to decarcerate jails, prisons and detention centers and ensure basic human dignity and the core human rights of all New Yorkers,” said Marvin Mayfield, Center for Community Alternatives Statewide Organizer.
A big priority in the roadmap is elder parole. Senator Gustavo Rivera says it’s about redemption.
“We need to let our elders out. Folks who are no longer a danger to society should be given the opportunity to go back to the community. Folks who have paid their dues should be given the opportunity to come back,” Rivera said.
Another target is marijuana legalization.
“The legislature really needs to pass the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act not only to legalize adult use cannabis, but also to reinvest the revenue that it would generate from legalizing marijuana into our communities that have suffered the most from criminalization,” said Senator Julia Salazar.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt weighed in on the “Justice Roadmap” saying, “Clearly these radical progressives are unaware New York is currently in fiscal ruin and our small businesses and middle-class are suffering. Instead of advancing an out of touch agenda, we need a roadmap for recovery focused on improving the quality of life for hard-working New Yorkers and ailing small businesses.”