Anti-Racism Package of Bills introduced in CA Legislature
by Perla Brito
Assemblymember Corey A. Jackson announced in February the introduction of an “Anti-Racism Package” he said is designed to address the “systemic barriers faced by communities of color in California.”
The package includes four measures directed at promoting “equity and justice across the state,” said the lawmaker, starting with ACA-7: “Increasing Life Expectancy, Education and Economic Opportunity.”
The legislator said the measure focuses on a solution to the continuous disparities in health, education, and economic outcomes for communities of color by allowing the governor to issue waivers to public agencies for research-based and culturally specific interventions.
The next measure is Assembly Bill 1077: “Public Agency Antiracism & Equity Audit,” which requires all state agencies and counties to perform extensive antiracism audits.
According to AB 1077, all state agencies and counties must also establish action plans to correct shortages within specific timelines approved by the State Controller. A penalty or fine will be imposed on the agency if there is not any progress within three years. The agency may also face conservatorship by a judge.
Assembly Bill 1079: “Combat Hate Crimes,” includes the launch of a Hate Crimes Intervention Unit within the Department of Public Health and the establishment of the California Ad Council to address hate crimes, promote diversity, and inclusivity in California.
The fourth measure, Assembly Bill 1078: “Diversity Textbooks in School Curriculum,” prohibits the State Board of Education from approving textbooks that do not reflect the diversity of California.
The legislator said the bill is being introduced to ensure that students have access to materials that accurately represent their experiences and identities, and also prohibits local school districts from banning curriculum, instructional material, or textbooks without State Board of Education approval.
Assemblymember Jackson said, “As a state, we have a responsibility to create a more equitable and inclusive society for all Californians,” noting, “This Anti-Racism Bill Package represents a crucial step towards achieving that goal and promoting justice and equality for all communities by truly creating a proactive[ly] antiracist, anti-hate, and anti-xenophobic state.”
Perla Brito is a 4th year undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach. She is majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice and is set to graduate by Spring 2023. After graduation she plans on working at a local police department in the criminal investigations division. She intends to pursue a Masters in Psychology with a focus in Neuroscience in hopes of working on neurocriminology research one day.