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Date: 2024-05-18 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00015259

Petitions ... Change.org
My mom, Alice Johnson, is free

... you may have heard how my mother, Alice Marie Johnson, walked out of prison for the first time in over 21 years after having her life sentence commuted by President Trump.

Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess

Gmail Peter Burgess
My mom, Alice Johnson, is free
1 message
Tretessa Johnson via Change.org
Sat, Jun 16, 2018 at 9:37 AM
Reply-To: Team US
To: peterbnyc@gmail.com


Change.org

Peter,

If you were watching or reading the news last week, you may have heard how my mother, Alice Marie Johnson, walked out of prison for the first time in over 21 years after having her life sentence commuted by President Trump.

In 1996, my mom was a first time nonviolent drug offender given a mandatory minimum sentence of life in federal prison. Over the last two years, the unfairness of her case began getting attention from both Republicans and Democrats and celebrities like Kim Kardashian.

Eventually, her case made it all the way to President Trump’s desk where he agreed my mother should be free and with the stroke of his pen, changed all our lives forever.

Be a hero — Help Alice get back on her feet

But the spark that lit the flame for all this to happen was Change.org. When I started my petition two years ago, I had no idea if anyone would care. But with the help of Jonathan Perri, one of Change.org’s Campaigns Directors, more than 270,000 people eventually signed on to support my mother’s freedom.

The Change.org platform was there to help me tell my mom’s story and when your family member is serving life in prison, finding that kind of support can be hard. I’ve come to learn our story is not uncommon; Change.org empowers people everywhere to fight injustices like my mom’s life sentence.

They do it by providing free resources available to all. I’ll never forget traveling to Washington, D.C. to deliver my petition signatures to the Department of Justice. I was joined by criminal justice reform organizations and families of other incarcerated people from around the country who also had petitions. Change.org helped families fundraise for travel costs and the event was covered by media outlets like the BBC and Washington Post.

Now, I’m using Change.org once more to help my mom with starting her new life. The moment my mom finally saw her children and grandchildren outside of prison walls was emotional. She was still wearing the gray sweatpants and sweatshirt issued to her by Federal Bureau of Prisons. After 21 years, those clothes are some of her only possessions. She is starting her life over from scratch.

Because she was in prison she wasn’t able to earn a living. So starting over is going to be a challenge, no matter how strong her support network is. If you’d like to help my mom start off on the right foot after all these years, you can donate $5, $10, or $25 to my Change.org fundraiser.

Take a moment to help Alice after 21 years in prison

In prison my mom worked hard. With a life sentence she could have just given up. Instead, she volunteered with hospice to help dying prisoners in their final days, tutored women though earning their GED’s, and became a playwright.

She has always taken responsibility for playing minor role in a drug conspiracy — but a life sentence was unnecessary.

Thank you for listening to my story. Change.org is a wonderful community and my mom wouldn’t be free today without people like you.

With love,

Tretessa Johnson Alice Johnson's Daughter and Petition Starter

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