CA Assembly Resolution Would Encourage Equity Analysis of Bills
[ Article was originally posted on https://greenlining.org ]
Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson), joined by Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian, Mark Stone, Luz Rivas and Cristina Garcia, has introduced HR 39, designed to address a major gap in the analysis of new legislation proposed in Sacramento. HR 39 would encourage the California Assembly to explore methods to integrate equity more formally into its daily activities, including the potential adoption of equity impact analysis into the existing committee and floor bill analysis processes.
“Communities of color and other marginalized populations have been disproportionately harmed by poor government decisions, even if unintentional,” said Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson).“ I can think of no better time to reflect and make sure we don’t repeat those mistakes and to guarantee that we bring a new level of transparency and analysis to the legislative process. We must ensure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to benefit from policies that profoundly impact them, such as education, housing, employment, health care, etc. Right now, each new bill gets an analysis examining things like related legislation and fiscal impact, but nothing about its impact on low-income Californians or historically marginalized communities. The equity impact assessment would update the existing government process and identify gaps in our policy-making decisions.”
All levels of government have begun to embrace the need for such analysis. President Biden recently issued an executive order requiring all federal departments and agencies to “recognize and work to redress inequities in their policies and programs that serve as barriers to equal opportunity.” Five states — Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Oregon, and New Jersey — have adopted and implemented policies requiring racial equity impact statements for certain types of proposals.
“As the Biden administration works to build a serious federal approach to racial equity, it’s already receiving hostile responses claiming that equity must mean racial quotas and is bad for America,” said Debra Gore-Mann, president and CEO of The Greenlining Institute, which sponsored the resolution. “California must not be intimidated, but instead must help lead the effort to commit to equity. We cannot capitulate to white grievance that is rooted in white privilege and a false sense of superiority. It is time to be bold, proactive and center racial equity to build an inclusive country, and HR 39 will help get us there.”
Sammy Nunez, executive director of Fathers & Families of San Joaquin said, “As the most diverse city in America, Stockton’s 2020 election served as a barometer to measure and forecast the socio-political realities of people of color across the United States. The political landscape is indicative of racial injustice, and the overt oppressive forces that have permeated every aspect of our country since its inception. However, this also presents an opportunity for investments that can transform our struggles into solutions to transcend and heal the racial divide that has kept us from meeting our full potential as a state and nation.”
The Greenlining Institute believes that applying racial and social equity analytics to understand the complexities and harsh realities imposed on people of color represents the minimum California must do to ensure a future devoid of neglect and abandonment and undo the social, political, and institutional traumas perpetuated by the state. This resolution would illuminate the benefits for all Californians of legislating through an equity-based lens that builds opportunities for all Californians.
To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.
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