The Black Lives Matter protests are into their third week, but have they produced any results?
There are some initial, encouraging signs.
Although not every state legislature is in session right now, there has been movement in some states. Some highlights:
- In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law enforcement restriction package that bans chokeholds and false race-based “Amy Cooper” type calls, among other things.
- The Colorado legislature passed a similar law and Governor Jared Polis has pledged to sign it.
- Iowa’s legislature passed a bill that prohibits officers who have been fired for misconduct from being hired in another department in the state.
- Governor Kate Brown in Oregon has called a special legislative session to consider police accountability legislation.
So how can you find out what bills and measures are being proposed in your state legislature? Well, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has put together this fabulous tool so you can look up what’s happening with law enforcement legislation in your state.
Simply choose All Topics –> Your state –> and hit Search.
What you can do
Once you’ve looked to see what’s happening in your state, your next step is clear: If there’s legislation listed, call your local legislators and tell them how you want them to vote on it. On the other hand, if there’s nothing listed, you can call your legislator and demand that they take action by authoring a bill.
You can find the contact information for your local state legislators HERE.
I encourage you to listen to your local community and learn what measures they have been advocating for to keep people safe. You could start by reaching out to your local NAACP or ACLU chapter, or look into these organizations that have been in this fight for a long time.
Thank you for taking action.