O'Rourke endorses progressive criminal justice priorities

O'Rourke endorses progressive criminal justice priorities
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeButtigieg picks up third congressional endorsement from New York lawmaker Klobuchar hires staff in Nevada Deval Patrick enters 2020 race MORE (D-Texas) endorsed a series of progressive criminal justice proposals Thursday in an essay for the Brennan Center for Justice.

In the essay, published Thursday alongside others from fellow 2020 contenders such as Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Poll: Majority of voters name TV as primary news source Buttigieg: Harris 'deserves to be under anybody's consideration' for vice president MORE (D-Calif.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Klobuchar lauds power of free press in post about her father The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi says House will move forward with impeachment MORE (D-Minn.), the Texas lawmaker announced support for several priorities firmly in line with the Democratic Party's left wing.

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Among the proposals he endorsed included plans to end cash bail at the state level, make for-profit prisons illegal, and end mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

The former Texas congressman also vowed to confront the "over-policing of black and brown neighborhoods" as well as ending the federal prohibition on marijuana.

"Ultimately, this is about ensuring that every single one of us — regardless of race, ethnicity, or class — can live to our full potential with equal rights and equal dignity. We will build a future that is more just, more fair, and more prosperous for every single person," O'Rourke wrote on Twitter.

O'Rourke's endorsement of criminal justice reform proposals came as his campaign has struggled to make headway against a crowded field of competitors, and the former congressman regularly polls in the single digits behind higher-tier contenders such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa MORE and Sanders.

His poll numbers have receded since entering the race with millions of dollars in fundraising earlier this year, and he has reportedly worked to relaunch his campaign with a media tour after months of low-key events with voters.