Legislative Update

All,

H. 478 – An act relating to establishing a task force to study and consider a State apology and proposal for reparations for the institution of slavery is scheduled to be introduced THIS WEEK!  Representative Brian Cina, the bill sponsor will introduce the bill in the Government Operations Committee of the Vermont Assembly (room 49) on Thursday, March 21st, 2019 at 3:20 pm.  Please join us in thanking House Government Operations for agreeing to take take up H.478 to establish a Reparations Task Force.  Send the entire Committee a message to this address: vermont-house-judiciary@googlegroups.com.  Read our letter to the Committee here. #ReparationsVT

The Racial Justice Alliance put forward  S.120 with the primary intent to provide the Racial Equity Director the effective power to enable positive outcomes in the performance of his or her duties.  With the use of the language of the originally introduced S.281 (2018), the bill also provides clarity to the already implied responsibility of systemic racism mitigation in our schools and ensures focus and attention to additional infrastructural components of the function.  Unfortunately, we were unable to convince Chairwoman White of Senate Government Operations in meetings last week of the necessity of this policy improvement. This is regrettable in that history has taught us all that the probability for ones success is tied to ones ability to negotiate on equal footing.  If you’d care to thank the Chairwoman for her consideration of S.120 and express your concern to Senate Government Operations Committee you can send a message to this address:vermont-senate-government-operations@googlegroups.com.  Read our letter to the Committee here. 

Our original proposal for additional Human Rights Commission headcount(and restructuring) was introduced last year in proposed testimony and legislation.   This year we put forward  H.465 and S.145 to address discriminatory practices. These bills propose prohibiting racial profiling; redefining the operational structure and process of the Human Rights Commission; and requiring the community justice centers to provide education regarding the Human Rights Commission complaint process. Our intent remains to get the additional head count through a committee amendment procedure this year.   The designation of these bills as “An Act relating to racial bias” is misleading and creates the perception these bills are somehow associated with the Attorney General’s H.496 and S.132 ( and associated Bias Incident Reporting Protocol). They are not. Understanding Legislative Council’s prerogative in naming these bills and given the implications and gravity, we have asked Legislative Council to consider renaming these bills to something that suggests “Discriminatory Practices?  Senate Judiciary referred S.145 to Government Operations last week.  #NoracialprofilingVT 

Here are some things that you can do to assist us in the work of addressing overt and systemic racism in Vermont.  

  1. Ask the House Judiciary Committee to take up H.465 to address discriminatory practices.  Send the entire House Judiciary Committee a message to this address: vermont-house-judiciary@googlegroups.com.  You can also ask the Senate Government Operations Committee to take up S.145, an identical bill. Send the entire Senate Government Operations Committee a message at this address:vermont-senate-government-operations@googlegroups.com 
  2. Ask the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up S.119 and standardize law enforcement use of force data collection, policy and training.  Send the entire Senate Judiciary Committee a message to this address: vermont-senate-judiciary@googlegroups.com. You can also ask the House Government Operations Committee to take up H.464, an identical bill.  Send the entire House Government Operations Committee a message at this address: vermont-house-government-operations@googlegroups.com.  #FixUseOfForceVT.  
  3. Ask House Judiciary Committee to take up H.284 and mandate data collection throughout more of the justice system.  Send the entire House Judiciary Committee a message to this address: vermont-house-judiciary@googlegroups.com

As always, continue to call the Sergeant at Arms and ask them to pass your messages on to the chairs of any of the committees mentioned.  The number is 828.2228.

Join us in our call for Senate Judiciary to move PR.2 to full public hearings and testimony during evening hours. Our purpose in ensuring clarity around the complete abolishment of slavery  in the Vermont Constitution to “serve as a foundation for addressing systemicracism in our State’s laws and institutions” To contact the Government Operations Committee, see below: 

  1. Send the entire Committee a message: vermont-senate-government operations@googlegroups.com
  2. Send the Chair of the Committee an email:  jwhite@leg.state.vt.us
  3. Call the Chair of the Committee:  802.387.4379

The Racial Justice Alliance presents “What Equity Looks Like 2.0”.

Last month we had a comprehensive update on where we are and where we are going with addressing racial equity and diversity in Vermont. We conducted group discussions and provided breakout sessions to provide folks a space to do the work. This month we continue our racial equity journey. We’re opening the space for new folks to join us as we expand and deepen community and bond in the work.

There will be a special film feature, some updates and a community round-up. But mostly just hanging out, getting to know one another and having fun. Bring the board games. Bring a friend. Bring the kids. Bring the condiments for Chili. As we promised, we’re coming back together to hang out, chat and spend time together to see what equity looks like.

24 March, 2019
First Congregational Church
38 South Winooski Avenue
Burlington
Bring the kids

Facebook Event
https://www.facebook.com/events/1497489567052594/

Family friendly beverages encouraged
Please park in the parking garage.

Agenda:

1. Opening the Space / Welcome and Introductions
2. Food and an Opening Film (30 minutes)
3. Fun and Games
4. Updates and Community Roundup.
5. Closing the space

Thank you!

#ChangeVermont

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