Social Justice Reform
The struggle for racial justice in the United States is far from over. In 2020, both the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the Black community much harder than anyone else. In addition, the ongoing systemic racism of the United States justice system continues to take the lives of Black Americans while denying their right to due process.
Let me be perfectly clear: No innocent American life should be taken by the police. All lives deserve to be protected by the fundamental rights granted in the United States Constitution. This is why we must fight to end the systemic racism which plagues our police force. This is why we say Black Lives Matter.
As a Member of the House of Representatives I will take racial justice into account for every single issue. More importantly, I will listen to leaders from the Black community when writing and voting on legislation.
- We must improve how we fund and staff our police and invest in the community. I have some personal experience in this area. The need to call the police to my home has happened more than I can say. In fact, I can tell how busy our police are on any given day by the number of officers that respond to the call. We have been fortunate that no one has ever been injured as a result of these calls and I have witnessed how some officers "handle" it better than others. My brother was an officer and I have high regard for most officers as everyday they put their lives on the line and have to answer to a job description that has no limit. It is unfair and ineffective to ask them to be social and mental health workers. I know our communities would be better served to include social service professionals in our police departments that would be a resource to connect families to social services including mental health and addiction. Addressing these issues would enable our police departments to better protect and serve. I am also aware, even though I have no personal experience that there are far, far too many "bad" cops that abuse their position of trust and I will do everything I can to root that out and get justice for those betrayed by this system.
- We must abolish private prisons and end the school-to-prison pipeline. The privately-owned prison system in the United States exists to make profits by incarcerating people of color. This system must be replaced with a justice system that keeps people from entering prison in the first place. We can achieve this by investing in Medicare for All, affordable housing, education, and better-paying jobs so that nobody has to resort to crime to make a living.
- Cannabis is now legal. We need to be sure that tax revenues and social equity excise fees are spent on community reinvestment in municipalities that have been disproportionately harmed for decades.