Thursday, December 04, 2008

Montana: Fantastic Report from Jennifer Kirby, Coordinator, Montana Abolition Coalition

This note came to the participants of The Journey of Hope who were recently in Montana ... Bill says, share it...
Just wanted to share something with you…

We recently had a woman contact us and ask how she could be involved. Turns out that she’s the head of a major religious organization that includes a number of our key target districts. She told us that she wasn’t ever sure how she felt about the death penalty. Then she attended a Journey of Hope event and that it not only changed her mind but moved her so incredibly that she’s wanting to know how to help. The Journey of Hope didn’t just get us one volunteer though – because she presented this to her religious group and they voted to be involved. We are putting together an “action day” – where they write letters to legislators and newspapers and basically take action on this issue. So we now have gained an Action Group in target districts and we are building numbers every day. This is directly due to the work that you did in Big Sky country.

Please note this is only one example of how your work made a difference in Montana. You have helped us enormously beyond that – we are busy building such a great network off of the Journey… the momentum is just amazing. The Journey is helping us really build our contact base… because it seems that everyone that signed up helps lead us to a new group of people or a great contact or even a legislator themselves… so its very positive outcome and we couldn’t be more pleased.

On a legislative note. Elections are over and we are looking at a Republican controlled Senate and a split House of Representatives (50/50). However, we are optimistic in this. We are very happy with the legislative assignments. We are blessed in the republican controlled Senate to have such great bi-partisan support. AND the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Judiciary Committee are both Republican allies. The House Chairman is not with us (yet!) – but a majority of the House Judiciary Committee is in favor of Abolition. We have a lot of work still to do – but we head into the legislature with high hopes and a strong grassroots base (which the Journey has helped to nearly triple at this point). We remain extremely confident that we can accomplish our goal.

Just wanted to say thanks again and keep up the tremendous work!


Jennifer Kirby
Coordinator, Montana Abolition Coalition

Photo by Jack Payden-Travers, ACLU Capital Punishment Project

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