Thursday, March 29 - Fill out a witness slip to end Crosscheck / Oppose Bill Otis for US Sentencing Commission

Actions You Can Take Today

  • Action 1: Fill out a Witness Slip for the End Crosscheck bill (SB 2273). Select "Proponent."

  • Action 2: Oppose Bill Otis for US Sentencing Commission
    • Senator Duckworth | DC: 202-224-2854 | Chicago 312-886-3506

    • Senator Durbin | DC: 202-224-2152 | Chicago 312-353-4952

Action 1: Witness Slip for the End Crosscheck Bill

Things are ramping up on Crosscheck and we all need to get to work on it.  SB 2273, the EndCrosscheck Bill, was assigned a committee hearing in the House Election and Campaign Finance Committee for April 11th so we need to have lots of Witness Slip submitted before the hearing. This legislation passed the State Senate two weeks after the start of the session and is now ramping up in the house. The bill would end Illinois participation in the controversial Crosscheck program managed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The bill is collecting witness slips now.

Indivisible Chicago has been hard at work trying to fight back against voter suppression by ending Illinois’ participation in Crosscheck. Crosscheck is a seriously flawed program that often results in voter disenfranchisement and suppression. Learn more about Crosscheck here.

There is an alternative in ERIC, the Electronic Registration Information Center. ERIC is another voter verification system in which Illinois already participates. ERIC is free of Crosscheck’s security and data-quality flaws. Illinois should continue to use it and encourage surrounding states to do the same.

Witness Slip Instructions:

  1. Click here to view the witness slip

  2. I. IDENTIFICATION: with your information. In the Firm/Business or Agency Box and in the Title Box, identify as "Self."

  3. II. REPRESENTATION: as "Self" (unless you actually are representing an organization)

  4. III. POSITION: select "Proponent"

  5. IV. TESTIMONY: select "Record of Appearance Only"

 

Action 2: Oppose Bill Otis for US Sentencing Commission   

On March 1, Donald Trump nominated former federal prosecutor Bill Otis for the US Sentencing Commission. The Commission is an independent, bipartisan organization that establishes and amends federal sentencing guidelines for the judiciary and helps other branches develop effective crime policy. Otis’s extremist views make him an inappropriate and dangerous nominee for a Commission post. He has vocally defended Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ harsh sentencing guidelines and believes mandatory minimums are the cause of lower crime rates. He also believes that high incarceration rates cause lower crime and is indifferent to racist biases in sentencing that disproportionately affect people of color.

While harsh sentences and mandatory minimum policies had an initial effect on crime rates, the costs of these policies far outweigh their benefits. Mandatory minimum sentencing has dramatically increased the number of incarcerated non-violent offenders, leading to prison overcrowding, massive spending on incarceration, and the fracturing of families—primarily families of color. In a May 2017 interview with NPR, Otis vigorously supported Sessions' policy of seeking the harshest sentences possible and denied this policy would disproportionately affect minority communities or further exacerbate prison overcrowding.

Bill Otis's attitudes about crime are draconian, antiquated, and contrary to recent bipartisan efforts to reform sentencing and reduce incarceration of non-violent offenders. The Senate must refuse to confirm Otis to the US Sentencing Commission to avoid setting criminal justice reform back decades.

  • Call Senator Duckworth | DC: 202-224-2854 | Chicago 312-886-3506
  • Call Senator Durbin | DC: 202-224-2152 | Chicago 312-353-4952

Script: Hi, my name is {NAME} and I’m a constituent at {ZIP CODE} and member of Indivisible Chicago.

I’m calling today to demand that {PERSON} oppose the nomination of Bill Otis to the US Sentencing Commission. Otis has repeatedly stated his support of ineffective and harmful policies like mandatory minimum sentencing. Otis's appointment to the Commission would threaten years of bipartisan efforts towards criminal justice reform.

Thank you for your time and attention.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Action and script via 5calls.org.

 

Daily Actions Editor