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CNN Crossfire Host, Best Selling Author, and a champion of smart solutions for rebuilding America's middle class. VanJones.net is the digital home of the #TeamVan community.
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newskkk-claims-Sandra-bland-was-killed-to-send-a-message

https://newswatch33.com/news/kkk-claims-sandra-bland-was-killed-to-send-a-message-to-blacks-to-know-their-place/
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The perfect example of why we need criminal justice reform in this country

Vandy here! For the past 3 years I have felt so alone fighting against the criminal justice system for my fiance, Lenny Singleton. Lenny and I met over 30 years ago in high school. I searched for Lenny for over 28 years before finding him in 2012 incarcerated in Nottoway Correctional Center in Burkeville, Virginia. He committed 8 "grab and dash" robberies in a 6 day period while in the throes of his addiction to crack cocaine. For 6 of these robberies he received 2 Life Sentences plus 100 years with no chance of parole. He is scheduled to die in prison. When I heard this, I thought, "OMG, how many people did Lenny kill?" Lenny did not kill anyone. In fact, there is not one victim that made a statement against him. He stole a total of less than $600, and this was his first felony. Lenny earned a college degree and served in our Navy 3 years before he allowed his addiction to destroy his life. To date, he has served 20 years. He will cost the American taxpayers well over a million dollars to keep him in prison for the rest of his life -- for stealing less than $600 and no one filed as a victim??? When I learned Lenny's fate, I began writing everyone I could think of -- am still writing everyone I can think of to bring attention to Lenny's situation. Lenny and I also began writing each other. As I began catching Lenny up over the past 28 years I realized that I was in a horrid state of being and with Lenny's encouragement, I began walking and making better food choices. In 4 months I lost 60 lbs, so much weight that I was able to feel the lump in my left armpit. Seven surgeries later, chemo, and radiation, I am diagnosed with Stage IV Triple Negative Breast Cancer -- another death sentence. I am not paralyzed from the neck down or dead right now because of my reunion with Lenny. That reunion created a Miracle in my life and now I am trying to create a Miracle in his life. To that end, we have written and published a book together, "Love Conquers All," and I will be marrying Lenny while incarcerated this August -- because he saved my life, because we are hoping this will bring the attention to his situation, because I believe in his reformed nature 110%, because I love him dearly. I need him. I need the American public to become aware of his situation. Justice will not have been served if Lenny dies in prison. And his time while incarcerated stands testament to his reformed nature. He has not received a single infraction for anything during his entire 20 years in prison. He deserves a second chance. Learn more at www.justice4lenny.org. And anyone out there that can help me bring Lenny's situation to light, email me at vandys_nature@live.com. Thank you Van for everything that you do. You are fast becoming my own personal hero.
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Rand Paul and Koch brothers Using Van Jones

Van, I watched the segment with that Koch lawyer on Democracy Now. When Amy asked how their new cause to reduce prison sentences for non violent offenders jives with their previous support of ALEC's stand on mandatory sentencing, 3 strike laws, etc.. He said I'm not here to talk about that, was chilling. I believe these men are just trying to find a way to get blacks to support their candidates, nothing more than a ruse to fool you. The Koch brothers and Rand Paul are using you to advance their cause to win elections. I dont believe for one minute they want to help AA. Their telling us what they think we want to hear and once elected will go right back to screwing average americans through their fucked up policies.
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No Participation

I am writing to express my sincere appreciation of your work on civil right for all people across the nation. I was particularly pleased listening to your comments over the past few weeks regarding the senseless murder of nine people at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charlestown, South Carolina. Over the past five years I have been reaching out to leaders like yourself to garner support for a plan to uplift African Americans economic opportunity in the United States. African Americans have significant economic leverage in the area of entertainment, including sports. We make up a large majority of the NFL, NBA, and MLB. We are also economic powers in the entertainment industry. I think that we can significantly change the economic landscape in regard to poverty and opportunity for African American if we control our clout in these areas. During the era of apartheid in South Africa, sports and entertainment was leveraged to bring down the country’s discriminatory practices. I feel that if it worked in South Africa it can work here in the United States. However, it will require organizing and uniting our athletes and entertainers. The NCAA did it in South Carolina but did not get the support of other sports and entertainment organizations. Please consider what FOX news/sports would do if African American athletes and entertainers would refuse to play in games/concerts where FOX news/sports had the broadcasting rights. What would states like Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and others would do when African American athletes and entertainers refuse to participate in events because of their discriminatory social programs? I feel that economic policy towards African Americans, (all minorities) would changes significantly if we can adopt the “No Participation” protest. However, implementing such a movement requires considerable commitment from our athletes and entertainers. Therefore, I am writing to you, seeking your assistance. Do you feel this is possible and can it work? Thank you for your time and consideration.
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Oppression and the war on everything-including the one that is killing us all: the environment

As a white person who has done serious work I now get it. (hey it only took 61 years). When someone is oppressed and never given good tools to fight back they tend to get oppressive toward those that have less of something because they are not as strong or they don't have a voice that is heard. Enter the environment. You know this -we are all being killed -slowly-by what is happening in this world. To me what is needed is mass mobilization (ie climate march size) to start doing something every day. There are many many groups and people doing great things. Let's tie them all together and make them all visible and make their solutions be the ones being funded. We can change this war. All the wars (and I am speaking metaphorically) we are facing are all related to degradation of the living ecosystem that we are all a part. If we don't start by standing up for the earth we literally will not be able to stand up for ourselves and all our sisters and brothers on this planet. I would love to be part of a peaceful ecological army. This issue bridges all races, classes, ages, sexes and countries. Let's start mobilizing and join our GreenPeace Brothers and Sisters. The Pachamama Alliance, all all the others groups that are barely on the radar and start working in unison. We will not be stopped because those that join know that we want the world to be around as livable planet for humans and other creatures for the next seven generation.
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Jun 25, 2015
(CNN) Everyone knows that ambitious, bipartisan legislation is completely impossible to pass in today's divided and dysfunctional Washington right? Wrong. By year's end, President Barack Obama could sign into law major criminal justice reforms -- passed because of the leadership and full engagement of the congressional GOP. On Thursday, key leaders took a major step toward that outcome as Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, and Bobby Scott, D-Virginia, introduced the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective (SAFE) Justice Act of 2015, a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill that will start chipping away at our unjust, unaffordable system of mass incarceration. Over the past... ... more
Jun 16, 2015
(CNN) In their rush to punish African-Americans for exercising their First Amendment rights and pushing an end to oppressive law enforcement tactics, defenders of police brutality have lost all touch with common sense. "As Violence Spikes in Some Cities, Is 'Ferguson Effect' to Blame?" asks NBC News. "How many New Yorkers must die before the mayor brings back stop-and-frisk?" blares the New York Post. In the Wall Street Journal, longtime defender of bad cops Heather MacDonald penned an utterly misleading piece on "The New Nationwide Crime Wave" blaming agitation on the part of those upset about the criminal justice system's failure to hold police responsible... ... more
May 27, 2015
By Van Jones and Newt Gingrich (CNN) Before Paton Blough got his bipolar disorder under control, it nearly cost him everything. The Greenville, South Carolina, resident was arrested six times in three years, each for an episode related to his illness. Instead of receiving treatment, he was thrown in jail. In the rough prison environment and without proper treatment, he ended up with two felony convictions for crimes committed while incarcerated. Blough managed to find a path to treatment. That makes him one of the lucky ones. Today, mentally ill Americans are disproportionately more likely to be arrested, incarcerated, suffer solitary confinement or rape in... ... more