On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, the MBLLC met with Chairman Harold P. Naughton, Jr. of the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. With Governor Baker's legislation, An Act to improve police officer standards and accountability and to improve training, in Chairman Naughton's Committee, the meeting served as an opportunity for the MBLLC to express the Caucus' desire to build on the legislation through additional accountability reforms. The MBLLC will continue to work with Chairman Naughton and leadership as police accountability legislation works its way through the legislative process.
On Wednesday, June 24, 2020 the MBLLC met with the House Asian Caucus via Zoom to discuss systemic racism, racial injustice, and police accountability reforms. Both Caucuses pledged to work together, more frequently and systematically, going forward.
On Tuesday, June 23, 2020 the MBLLC and Chairman Aaron Michlewitz of the House Ways and Means Committee met to discuss the fiscal year 2021 State budget. While recognizing that budget writers face historic revenue loses, the MBLLC called on Chairman Michlewitz to ensure that communities of color that are hardest hit by COVID-19 have the resources needed to recover. In particular, the MBLLC prioritized education, youth jobs/development and gun violence prevention, and minority businesses.
On Wednesday, June 17, 2020 the MBLLC stood with Governor Charlie Baker to announce legislation that would establish a Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) system in Massachusetts. The initiative is the result of years of advocacy from the MBLLC and from Rep. Russell Holmes (D-Mattapan) in particular.
POST, a part of a 10-point plan announced in early June by elected officials of color from around the State, would provide a mechanism to certify and decertify police officers. Most importantly, the legislation filed by Governor Baker creates a list of offenses, including using chokeholds, that would lead to mandatory decertification that would preclude offending officers from being hired elsewhere.
View the MBLLC's statement about the legislation below along with video of the full press conference.
On Wednesday, June 17, 2020 the MBLLC met with Chairwoman Claire Cronin of the House Judiciary Committee. The meeting served as a launching pad to discuss anticipated omnibus legislation on police accountability. MBLLC members spoke candidly with Chairwoman Cronin as they explained the ails felt by their communities and offered solutions to rebuild trust in law enforcement. Chairwoman Cronin was happy to listen to the members, acknowledged the need for wide-reaching legislation, and committed to working with the MBLLC to ensure a Caucus driven process.
On Tuesday, June 16, 2020 the MBLLC co-hosted a briefing with the ACLU of Massachusetts and Mass Police Reform. The briefing centered around the need for a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) system in Massachusetts: one of a few states without such a system. A strong POST system provides the ability to de-certify police and increase transparency and accountability.
Featured panelists included:
On Monday June 15, 2020 the MBLLC met with Senate President Karen Spilka to discuss their 10-point plan to address police accountability and reforms. Senate President Spilka committed to fast tracking legislation on this matter and working alongside the MBLLC to ensure meaningful change. View the full joint statement regarding the meeting below.
On Friday, June 12, 2020 newly elected Representative Danillo Sena accepted Chairman Carlos González' invitation to join the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus (MBLLC). Rep. Sena, a Dreamer/DACA recipient, is the first Brazilian-American immigrant to be elected to the State' Legislature. By joining the MBLLC Rep. Sena has grown the Caucus to 14 members strong. The MBLLC is proud and happy to welcome Rep. Sena, and looks forward to working alongside him.
Learn more about Rep. Sena here.
On Wednesday, June 10, 2020 the MBLLC met with Congressional House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal. Serving as one of the main authors for the U.S. Congress' bills providing aide in response to COVID-19, Congressman Neal was uniquely positioned to listen to the concern of the Caucus and utilize them while advocating for the next round of federal relief. Members used the opportunity to stress the need for education supports, micro-business assistance, and more while Congressman Neal emphasized how the $1t in local assistance proposed in the HEROES Act could help in exactly those areas.
On Wednesday, June 10, 2020 the MBLLC and Speaker DeLeo, of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, met via zoom to discuss the 10 point plan for police reform that was announced the previous week by various elected officials of color from throughout the State. Both the MBLLC and the Speaker found plenty of common ground and left the meeting determined to craft omnibus legislation on the matter. They both also agreed on the need for larger systemic reforms across many other aspects of government and agreed to work on those matters on a long term basis as well.
MBLLC log posts are curated by the Caucus Executive Director.