May 6, 2 PM, City Hall Steps: Mother

Press Release May 2, 2005

On Friday, May 6, the Real Reform New York coalition will hold a press conference with dozens of supporters at City Hall, urging Albany to enact real Rockefeller reform. The Mother’s Day weekend event will feature survivors of the Rockefeller drug laws including Elaine Bartlett, as well as mothers of incarcerated people including Cheri O’Donoghue and Milagros Estrella, and elected officials like city councilwoman Margarita Lopez, State Senators Tom Duane and Eric Schneiderman, and State representative Jeffrion Aubry.

The press conference will acknowledge the first small steps that were made toward reform in the Albany legislature this summer, but will call on the state legislature to finish the job. Last year, state legislators stated that the changes they made were only the beginning of reform, and said that they were committed to finishing the job. “The majority of people behind bars because of the Rockefeller drug laws are still there, separated from their families” said Michael Blain, director of public policy for the Drug Policy Alliance. “We are coming out to force these legislators to keep their word and really reform these laws.” Cheri O’Donoghue concurred and added, “The Rockefeller drug laws have obviously been a failure. I’m going to keep fighting until my son is home.”

Who: State representative Jeffrion Aubry, State Senators Tom Duane and Eric Schneiderman, City Councilwoman Margarita Lopez, and mothers including Elaine Bartlett, Cheri O’Donoghue, Milagros Estrella, and hundreds of supporters

What: Press Conference for Real Rockefeller Reform at City Hall Steps

When: Friday May 6, 2 PM

Founded in April 2004, the Real Reform New York Coalition is committed to replacing the current inhumane, ineffective and wasteful Rockefeller Drug Laws with cost-effective, just, and community-based alternatives. Real Reform New York is made up of dozens of organizations representing thousands of community members, activists, advocates, policy and treatment experts, and Rockefeller Drug Law survivors and their friends and families. Real Reform New York defines real reform as:

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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