Help Vermont make history by passing The Racial Justice Reform Bill. This bill creates a racial justice reform oversight board. The board would manage the implementation of practices that mitigate institutionalized racism.
If you want to learn more about the bill, keep reading! If you want to know how you can support it, either in person or from your house, please jump to the bottom!
With the appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General and top leader of our Department of Justice, a man who has been systematically attacking civil rights across the span of his more than 30 year career, and Donald Trump instructing him to “crack down on crime” and create a plan to end violence against police officers, despite FBI data reports that crime rates have been falling consistently since the 1990’s, the time to act is NOW. Trump has vowed to turn his back on community oriented policing strategies that seek to heal divides and restore trust between communities and law enforcement in favor of unconstitutional policies such as “stop and frisk.” He additionally calls for the ceasing of federal investigations of departments that are under scrutiny for abuse of power and discrimination, once again leaving African Americans vulnerable and at risk of mistreatment.
But we say, not in Vermont. Not this time. Right now Vermont is poised to enact legislation for racial justice reform that is simply unprecedented in our state. Yes we are a small, majority white state, but racial disparities exist and they are just as real and just as toxic as anywhere else in this nation. African American drivers are stopped at 5 TIMES the rate of white drivers in Vermont and are more likely to be searched, yet are found to be in possession of contraband LESS frequently than whites. This is not a policing issue, this is an implicit bias issue resulting from a culture that we are all steeped in from the day we are born. This implicit bias is the root cause of the systemic racism that creates disparities in our systems across the board. And the only way to fix it is to see it, to call it by name, and be brave enough to stand up and say, yes this is a problem and we must meet it head on.
H.492 (S.116) seeks to do exactly that. This legislation, the very first of its kind in our brave little state, in fact the most sweeping attempt to bring racial justice out into the light in our history, will establish a Racial Justice Oversight Board to start addressing these issues. With 12 appointed members, housed under the office of Vermont’s attorney general, this board will tackle the difficult questions of disparate treatment of people of color in this state and make recommendations using the most cutting edge and proven tools and strategies of our time. Vermont has always led the forward march to recognition and equality for all, we can get on the right side of history and we can do it now.
Please, lets get this bill crossed over into the next phase of the legislation session. We have LESS THAN ONE WEEK to make this happen. Sign the petitions, call your legislators, send e-mails, attend the press conference, RALLY with us! Black LivesMatter! #racialjusticereformvt
DIRECT ACTION IN PERSON
1) Come to the press conference on Wednesday March 15th @ 10 AM in the Cedar Creek Room at the Statehouse in Montpelier. Get more information at: https://www.facebook.com/
2) Come to the Racial Justice Rally on Thursday March 16th @ 6pm on the Statehouse steps. Get more information at:
3) Come to a Conversation with Bernie Sanders about Racial Justice in Vermont Friday March 17th @ 5pm at Vermont Technical College. Get more information at: https://www.facebook.com/
DIRECT ACTION FROM HOME
2) Call the Sergeant at Arms and leave a message for your legislative delegation and/or the House Judiciary expressing your support for H492 and S116 at 802-828-2228 *see the paragraph above to guide what you could say to her
4) Mail a postcard to your legislator. Find them here:
5) Forward the email to your networks and share this information on Facebook and by word of mouth!