Racial Justice

Our country stands at a crossroads. For centuries, the fight against racial inequality has moved at a glacial pace. The victories in this struggle, while significant, have been too few and far between.

The death of George Floyd has forced our country to acknowledge that any progress we have made is simply not enough. Black men and women face challenges and obstacles that white Americans do not experience and cannot comprehend.

These go far beyond the overt displays of racism that we associate with hate groups or the alt-right. The truth is, as many Americans are now realizing, racial disparity touches nearly every aspect of our lives, oftentimes in the most insidious and subtle of ways.

In Rhode Island: 70% of kids living in poverty are non-white; the unemployment rate for black workers is 185% that of whites; the median income for black families is just 53% that of white families; the infant mortality rate is twice as high for black mothers as for whites; and black kids are 60% more likely to drop out of high school as their white peers.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, David Cicilline has been a vocal advocate and leader in the effort to reform the way law enforcement operates, and enact federal policies focused on ending systemic racism in America.

As a member of the Judiciary Committee, Cicilline helped advance passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, legislation that holds bad police officers accountable, demilitarizes state and local police departments by limiting the transfer of military weaponry, and cracks down on police brutality by banning chokeholds, requiring body and dashboard cams, and taking steps to end racial profiling.

This bill addresses the most immediate, obvious problems that George Floyd’s death brought to light, including the fact that black men are 250% more likely to be killed by the police than whites. However, Congressman Cicilline knows that there is much more we need to do to advance racial and economic equality in America. Tragedies like the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many more black Americans, and the overwhelming toll that COVID-19 has taken on communities of color, must be calls to action to bridge what divides us as a nation. David is calling for the creation of a National Commission to Restore the American Dream, a nonpartisan, independent body empowered to identify the root causes of this crisis and to propose legislation to end it.

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