Manuel Ellis. Said Joquin. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Tony McDade. Sandra Bland. Trayvon Martin. We must say their names, and we must stop police killings of Black Americans for good. That means making systemic change from the top to the bottom of our society.
Manny Ellis died at the hands of Tacoma police on March 3 saying, “I can’t breathe”—like George Floyd in Minnesota and Eric Garner in New York City. That is inexcusable and it is absolutely heartbreaking to me that Manny’s son and daughter are without their father. While I am running for federal and not state office, nobody can be silent about the changes we need in our community, and I will use my platform as an candidate and member of the United States Congress in order to champion the following changes in District 6 and in Washington state:
The time for commissions and half-measures is over. I agree with many of the proposals recently put forward by Sen. Bernie Sanders:
I support many elements of the BREATHE Act, introduced by the Movement for Black Lives with the support of Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, including:
The United States is home to the world’s largest population of prisoners. Though Americans make up just under 5% of the global population, 20% of the incarcerated people in the world are in the United States.
People of color are vastly overrepresented in our prisons today due to racial profiling, drug arrest disparities, concentrated urban poverty, and other forms of systemic racism. As the NAACP notes, “Though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately 32% of the US population, they comprised 56% of all incarcerated people in 2015.” And the law is not applied evenly across class, either: the cash bail system, our underfunded public defenders, and the concentration of police officers in low-income neighborhoods currently ensures that the most vulnerable members of our communities are the ones being treated most harshly.
I will fight to:
Martin Luther King Jr. condemned what he called the “triple evils” of racism, economic exploitation and militarism. Policing and prisons cannot be separated from racism, poverty and our addiction to war; none of these issues can be addressed apart from one another.
To that end, we must: