SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, will prioritize support of 14 bills and 2 proposed constitutional amendments focused on advancing racial justice that are currently pending in the California Legislature, the organization announced on Juneteenth, a day commemorating the official end to slavery in the United States. The legislative package includes bills focused on police and criminal justice reform, voting rights and Legislative Black Caucus Chair Assemblymember Shirley Weber’s ACA 5 to repeal Proposition 209 and AB 3121 to establish a task force to issue recommendations regarding reparations.
Throughout Equality California’s history, the civil rights organization has strongly supported key racial justice legislation, including Assemblymember Shirley Weber’s (D-San Diego) police use of force bill AB 392 in 2019, Senator Bob Hertzberg’s bail reform bill SB 10 in 2018, Assemblymember Weber’s AB 953 in 2015 on racial profiling, then-Assemblymember Roger Dickinson’s AB 420 in 2014 on willful defiance suspensions and expulsions in schools and then-Senator Ed Hernandez’s effort to repeal Proposition 209 in 2014, among others.
Equality California released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur regarding the decision to prioritize the package of racial justice legislation:
“We are proud to stand with the Legislative Black Caucus and the incredible legislators who have authored these bills, and we are fully committed to seeing each one passed and signed into law. The fight for racial justice is not someone else’s battle to wage — it’s ours. We cannot have full, lived equality for all LGBTQ+ people until we dismantle systemic racism. We cannot achieve our mission of creating a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people until we end police brutality and anti-Black violence; end the crisis of violence against transgender women of color; stop ICE from separating immigrant families and putting children in cages; prevent hate crimes against the API, Muslim and Jewish communities; and finally put a stop to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Our struggles are not all the same, but they are inextricably intertwined. Today on Juneteenth — and every day — we’ll fight until the work is done.”
The 2020 racial justice legislation supported by Equality California includes the following bills and proposed constitutional amendments (Note: additional legislation may be added as new proposals are introduced):
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org