Legislative Agenda 2019

Delivering on the promise of Hope and a Future

Our legislative agenda is a bold and aggressive agenda that pushes the comfort zone of Vermonters. JFA seeks to move us closer to realizing the aspirational progressive brave little state that so many hold us out to be. We join the Vermont Coalition for Ethnic and Social Equity in Schools in support of the Ethnic Studies bill. Our legislative work is accomplished through the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance. You can see the Racial Justice Alliance legislative agenda here.

  • Proposal to Prohibit Slavery and Indentured Servitude from the Vermont Constitution
  • Commission to Study Apology and Reparations for Slavery
  • Systemic Racism Mitigation (Act 9) Cleanup
  • Addressing Racial Discriminatory Practices
  • Appropriate Use of Force
  • Ethnic Studies (passed as Act 1, 2019)

Amendment to Remove Slavery from the Vermont Constitution

Purpose. This proposal would amend the Constitution of the State of Vermont to absolutely prohibit slavery and indentured servitude.  Clarity surrounding slavery in the Vermont constitution will serve as a foundation in addressing systemic racism in Vermont laws, rules and institutions.

Commission to Consider Apology and Reparations For Slavery

Statement of purpose of bill: to address the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865; to establish a commission to study and consider a state apology and proposal for reparations for the institution of slavery, its subsequent de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, and; to make recommendations to the legislature on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes.

Systemic Racism Mitigation (Act 9) Clean-up

Statement of purpose of bill: This bill proposes to: make the Racial Equity Director a cabinet level position; expand the jurisdiction of the “Racial Equity Executive Director” to include a) public education; b) developing a systemic racism mitigation training program; c) overseeing the creation of a strategy to develop a race-data management technology solution, and; d) advising and consulting on legislative and executive policy to ensure the sustained mitigation of systemic racism; clarify appointment process for Racial Equity Panel appointing entities to replace Panel members when departing prior to end of term;

Discriminatory Practices

Statement of purpose of bill: This bill proposes to: 1) prohibit racial profiling; institute civil liability for racial profiling; 2) redefine the operational structure and process of the Human Rights Commission; designate Community Justice Center Community Justice Centers as reporting locations for discrimination statewide.

Appropriate Use of Force

Statement of purpose of bill: This bill proposes to 1) require the collection and distribution data regarding the use of force used in a traffic stop; 2) require the Criminal Justice Training Council to develop a model policy regarding the use of force, de-escalation, and cross cultural awareness, and require law enforcement agencies to adopt a policy regarding the use of force, de-escalation, and cross-cultural awareness containing each component of the model policy; 3) require each agency receive training on the policy in order to meet basic training requirements;  4) requires each Vermont Criminal Justice Council to report to the  to report to the progress on race data collection, policy, training to the Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel and the Racial Equity Executive Director.

Ethnic and Social Education in Schools

Statement of purpose of bill: An act relating to the adoption of ethnic studies standards into statewide educational standards and a policy on ethnic and social equity in schools by public schools and approved independent schools.