The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others are horrifying. And it’s important to say that they are, tragically, not shocking. This time of tragedy must drive beyond an acknowledgement of the deep racial injustices of our country to action.
As President (and former State Senator) Barack Obama wrote this week:
It’s important for us to understand which levels of government have the biggest impact on our criminal justice system and police practices. When we think about politics, a lot of us focus only on the presidency and the federal government…But the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.
Like President Obama, we at Future Now Fund believe state lawmakers matter most in reforming our system — people like Representative Hester Jackson-McCray, who is only the third black person to represent a majority white-legislative district in Mississippi since Reconstruction and Delegate Josh Cole, who led on passing Automatic Voter Registration in Virginia, and was pepper sprayed at a protest this week. We need more lawmakers like them elected to state chambers across the country.
As candidates, these lawmakers, along with all of our endorsees, must sign on to America’s Goals to be considered for endorsement. Embedded throughout America’s Goals is equity, at its core. And the Future Now policy library includes a series of bills to help lawmakers advance equal opportunity for all.
As a white man, I have an obligation to acknowledge the pain that so many black Americans are feeling right now, in a time the black community has already been so disproportionately affected by COVID-19. But I know that acknowledging and listening are not enough. We also must act; and do so while centering the voices and experiences of those who experience this injustice most closely — black Americans.
Future Now Fund’s commitment to those who have lost their lives and to the many more now grieving in the streets is to continue to make equity and inclusion a central component of every internal and external decision we make, and to not stop until we see the reality for black Americans improve.
I hope you will continue to stand with us as we work to make these changes a reality.
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Future Now Fund & Future Now
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