This month, the appalling anti-Black racism by Los Angeles City Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo, Kevin de León, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera rocked Los Angeles and California
Beyond the words captured on tape, the recordings also pointed to how anti-Blackness works in our policies and systems, as the three revealingly discussed how to diminish Black political power in Los Angeles.
Marc Philpart offered this commentary for the Word in Black lifting up the need to build Black political power in Los Angeles and beyond. “It’s the everyday decisions by the elected officials and decision-makers closest to us that reinforce and expand anti-Blackness in our institutions and systems through racial and economic violence,” Marc said. As executive director of the California Black Freedom Fund, Marc leads a coalition of community and philanthropy leaders investing in Black power-building by providing the resources organizations and leaders need to eradicate systemic and institutional racism.
Ludovic Blain, Executive Director of the California Donor Table, a statewide community of donors who pool their funds to make investments in communities of color to build progressive political power, offers this statement not only joining in calls for the Councilmembers to resign, but also outlining what donors, Angelenos and the LA City Council can and must do in this moment. And, essentially, Ludovic reminds us that “progressive politicians with integrity do exist” in LA County.
“This November, over 11 million Asian Americans will be eligible to vote. We’ve proven to be a community that will turn out. In 2020, AAPIs out of all other racial groups saw the largest relative increase in turn out.” EunSook Lee, Executive Director of the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund, joined members of the Stop AAPI Hate Coalition this week to launch The Blame Game: How Political Rhetoric Inflames Anti-Asian Scapegoating, their first-ever report on political rhetoric and how it harms Asian American communities. Follow Stop AAPI Hate on social media for more highlights from the launch, and read the full report at the link.
Earlier this month, the Oakland City Council passed a resolution to support a community-led and collaborative plan to reimagine Alameda County’s juvenile legal system. The Reimagine Youth Justice proposal, unveiled at a press conference with community, youth and elected leaders, calls for Alameda County Board of Supervisors to support the Reimagine Youth Justice proposal developed by Urban Peace Movement and the rest of the members of the Free Our Kids Coalition. Learn more about the resolution in coverage from the Davis Vanguard, YR Media, KQED, KNTV, KTVU, KCBS and KRON.
A task force created to explore pathways towards reparations for Black people harmed by “debilitating economic, educational, and health hardships” is touring the state, inviting public comment on their work to inform policy recommendations on the budget due next summer. James Woodson, director of the California Black Power Network, a grantee partner of the California Black Freedom Fund, offered an important reminder that, as community members debate, we have to keep the fundamental purpose of this task force — and future policy — in mind: “Black folks have a right to disagree… What we should not do, however, is try to decide who is worthy and who is not. Reparations are meant to be a unifying force.” More on the latest on the reparations efforts in California at Capital B News.