Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus 10 Point Plan

Our Caucus is dedicated to fighting systemic racism and barriers that continue to exist within the Commonwealth. Our Caucus meets regularly with the Governor, Speaker of the House, and the Senate President to discuss the issues people of color continue to face in our communities. Recently, our caucus has developed an action plan, composed of direct steps that can be taken at all levels of government to reform our institutions.

1.

FEDERAL ACTION

Pass Congresswoman Pressley’s Resolution to condemn police brutality, racial profiling and the excessive use of force.

2.

FEDERAL ACTION

Improve oversight and independent investigations to hold individual law enforcement officers and police departments accountable.

3.

FEDERAL ACTION

Department of Justice must reassert its statutory authority to investigate individual instances of racial profiling, police brutality and violence and investigate and litigate individual law enforcement officers and police departments routinely violating civil rights.

4.

FEDERAL ACTION

Adopt sound and unbiased law enforcement policies at all levels of government that reduce the disparate impact of police brutality, racial profiling and use of force on Black and Brown people and other historically marginalized communities.

5.

STATE ACTION

Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST): Resolve to provide for a “Special Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training” to study and make recommendations concerning the implementation of a Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) system, H2146 Reps Holmes and Vieira; Reported favorably now with Rules Committee; Establishes a statewide POST system to certify police officers and enable de-certification for misconduct and abuse.

6.

STATE ACTION

Civil Service Exam Review and Oversight: An Act to Reform Civil Service Exams, H2292 Rep Holmes; Currently sent to study, but could be added to Outside Section of the Budget; Establishes an Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity to establish guidelines and review for diversity plans for all state agencies, Establishes a peace officer exam advisory board to review examinations for appointment and promotion of peace officers.

7.

STATE ACTION

Commission on Structural Racism: An Act establishing a special commission on structural racism, H1440, Holmes; Currently sent to study, but could be added to Outside Section of the Budget; Establishes a commission to study how the systemic presence of institutional racism has created a culture of structural racial inequality which has exacerbated disproportionate minority contact with the criminal justice system in Massachusetts.

8.

STATE ACTION

Adopt clear statutory limits on police use of force, including choke-holds and other tactics known to have deadly consequences. Require independent investigation of officer-related deaths. Require data collection and reporting on race, regarding all arrests and police use of force by every department. In drafting; to be filed by Rep. Liz Miranda soon.

9.

LOCAL ACTION

9. Declaring Racism is a Public Health Crisis and worthy of treatment, assessment and financial investment in order to eradicate negative health impacts.

10.

LOCAL ACTION

Create a Civil Review Board/Commission with subpoena power to investigate allegations of law enforcement wrongdoing.

About Rep. Vargas

Andy X. Vargas was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in November of 2017. He previously served on the Haverhill City Council. He is a member of the Black and Latino Caucus and sits on the following committees: Ways & Means, Education, Public Health, and Small Business.

 

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