It is impossible to comprehend our historic willingness to ignore and sustain racism, but we must confront it. Pushing back against systemic racism will take a system-wide effort, but we cannot continue to institute policies that are loud but toothless declarations. Tweaking at the margins in an effort to placate instead of commitment to eradicating racism is weak leadership we must not tolerate. Here are some places to start:
Juneteenth:Juneteenth needs to be a National Holiday, we must honor African American Heritage because it is a cornerstone of American Heritage.
Education of Our Shared History:Many Americans find out about Juneteenth or the Tulsa Massacre or a myriad of other portions of our history late in life, by happenstance. We presently allow our children to learn a narrative of American history that does not include our full truth. All Americans are entitled to know who we truly are. We must all embrace our failures as well as our successes. We cannot design our future unless we understand our past.
Voting Rights:Voting rights must be expanded and supported. We must take an “all of the above” approach to increasing voter turnout:Election Day needs to be a National Holiday
- Polling places need more funding and support
- Voting systems need better technological support
- Opportunities for in person voting needs to be expanded
- Voting by mail needs to be expanded
- Automatic voter registration must be expanded
- The Voting Rights Act must return and be expandedVoting Rights:
Gerrymandering:Gerrymandering is a cancer at the heart of our democracy. In truth, it is District Fraud where politicians choose which populations are convenient for them to disenfranchise. It must end.
Democracy Dollars:To combat the influence of money in politics, we must give every registered voter in America $1,000 per year to donate to the political candidates of their choice.
Protect Participation:Many people keep their politics quiet or avoid participating in elections because they fear retribution of some kind. People are concerned they will get in trouble at work or connected bureaucrats will start to hassle their business if they voice their true political opinions. We must protect people who participate in our democracy the same way we protect whistleblowers.
Reimagine Public Safety:We must remove our mindset from tweaking at the margins and seriously consider whole systems. What are all the services our community needs, and how is each one being provided for? Are armed officers the best personnel for everything? What is the difference between the military and the police? How does mental health interact with government? Can we avoid acute incidents with more widespread support systems and forms of early intervention?
Criminal Justice Reform:Mass incarceration must end. Private prisons must end. Bail reform is necessary. We cannot create financial incentives to limit people’s unalienable right to liberty. Abolish the death penalty. Decriminalize the non-violent errors of youth.
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