Legislators convene committee on race equity


June 24, 2021
The Bay State Banner
By Morgan C. Mullings

Community members on Monday advocated for racial justice across the Commonwealth to the chairs of the new Joint Committee on Racial Equity and Civil Rights, a legislative group tasked with brainstorming policy for impacting communities.

The two chairs, Rep. Bud Williams and Sen. Sonia-Chang Diaz, asked those who gave testimony for their thoughts on reparations, the housing crisis, correctional injustices and recovery from the pandemic.

Brandy Fluker Oakley, representing the 12th Suffolk District after her primary win in September, noted that the hearing broke the record for the number of Black and brown people testifying at the State House.

“Because of the amount of people that showed up and exercised their voice in ways that they had not necessarily done before, I think it’s a testament to the need for the committee,” Fluker Oakley told the Banner.

The newly-added member of the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus  said she wants to focus on all the federal money coming into the Commonwealth via federal COVID-19 recovery aid packages, such as the American Rescue Plan.

“I think there’s a really unique opportunity for this committee, and in conjunction with the [Caucus] to really put pressure on the state powers, the Legislature and the governor’s office to make sure that those dollars are used equitably,” Fluker Oakley said.

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