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.
Job posting available for hassle free download below and is also linked here.
On Thursday, June 4, 2020 the MBLLC met virtually with Governor Baker, Lt. Gov. Polito, and Sec. Turco to discuss the Caucus' calls for police reform. The emergency meeting was arranged in response to the recent killings of George
Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others. These murders have led to protests across the country where many have taken to the streets to express their discontent and to express the urgent need for change.
The Caucus and the Governor used the meeting as an opportunity to discuss Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) and other policies/changes that can be implemented to effectively alter the status quo. The MBLLC will continue to work with the Governor to address systemic racism.
MBLLC and Other Elected Officials of Color Call for Reforms in the Wake of Anti-Police Brutality Protests
On Tuesday, June 2, 2020 the MBLLC and elected officials of color joined together to advocate for reforms in response to the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others, and the growing protests across the country. Electeds from all levels of government, including federal, state, county, and municipal, were present to share concrete and actionable steps that can be taken to combat systemic racism, police brutality, and various forms of injustice.
The full 10 point plan presented at the press conference is included below, along with a full video and press packet for the event.
On Friday May 22, 2020 the MBLLC wrote to legislative leaders expressing their concerns and wants regarding elections in the age of COVID-19. The virus has forced reforms in how people work, govern, collaborate, and more. In order to ensure fair, accessible, and equitable elections, we will now need to reconsider how we vote for those elected to govern us. Read the full letter below.
The MBLLC invites Black and Latino high school students to take advantage of and sign up for Biotech in Action: a free summer program run by Cambridge based Biogen. The summer program offers young adults an easy way to see if a career in the biotech industry is right for them. Those who are interested can apply here.
This will be the second year that the MBLLC has partnered with Biogen to try to bring this opportunity to more diverse populations. To help see that through, Biogen has reserved space for underrepresented populations and MBLLC members have been actively engaged with their districts to direct students to the program.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's program will be held virtually through a partnership with MIT that is detailed further here. We urge you to apply, help spread the word, and learn more about the program through the materials below. You can also visit the Virtual Community Lab website here.
Last week the MBLLC invited Mayors, City Councilors, Town Managers, and Selectpeople to join the Caucus for a series of discussions regarding COVID-19. Building on previous MBLLC listening sessions, the roundtable discussions served as a way to continue the Caucus' tradition of meeting with others while focusing intently on listening to what they need from the Caucus.
The first of the meetings was held on Monday, May 18, 2020 with elected officials from Springfield and Holyoke. That was followed by a meeting with electeds from Boston on the same day and a meeting with electeds from the Merrimack Valley on Friday, May 15, 2020.
The Caucus was told about a range of concerns including widening disparities, need for increased testing, barriers to virtual learning, small business assistance, and more. The Caucus will use this input and feedback to inform its continued advocacy for communities of color during the COVID-19 pandemic.
MBLLC log posts are curated by the Caucus Executive Director.