A coalition of Oregon community groups has created a report card that grades the Oregon legislature on its efforts to address racial inequity. It’s issuing the report on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2012.
In a legislature that includes only three people of color, how did the bills passed in 2011 affect communities of color? The report congratulates the legislature for passing several laws it says will improve racial equity, such as HB 2707, which lets youths charged with Measure 11 crimes be held in juvenile prison, rather than in the adult criminal justice system.
But the report also highlights several bills that it says will increase institutional racism. The report says legislation that allows campus safety departments to turn into police departments could mean more drastic consequences if campus security racially profiles students — as any punishment would then be part of a student’s criminal record. The racial equity report card also highlights a law that could make it easier to fast track industrial development projects in industrially zoned areas — which the report points out are more densely populated by people of color.
Are you a member of a racial or ethnic minority? What Oregon laws do you think should be passed to increase racial equity?
- Kalpana Krishnamurthy: RACE and Gender Justice Program Director at the Western States Center
- David Rogers: Executive Director of the Partnership for Safety and Justice
- Tina Kotek: Oregon State Representative (D-Portland)