New Yorkers made their voices heard loud and clear! Despite attempts to thwart the efforts of the Racial Justice Commission, we the people voted overwhelmingly to create a preamble that includes a statement of values in the New York City Charter, an Office of the racial equity, and to measure and publicize the true cost of living. As reported in The Gothamist, “NYC voters support racial justice ballot proposals by wide margins.” Kudos to everyone who worked tirelessly to make this happen.
It’s a step forward for New York City, a step that was born out of the fight for racial justice and equity. The 3 proposal questions, posed by the New York Racial Justice Commission under Mayor Bill DeBlasio, emerged from weeks of protests in June 2020, following the May 25, 2020 killings of George Floyd and the murders of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery shortly before. I shared in the Daily Kos story I wrote, Why Vote Yes to Change the New York Charter, Even If You Don’t Live in New York, It’s About You.
We’re a trendy city, but not as hip as people would like to think, if the word branch is positive in your book. The fact is that racism and segregation exist in New York. Racism is racism and Nordic racism is very real. “Centering the New York City Charter on racial justice and equity as moral imperatives is an acknowledgment of systemic racism and the legacy it has inflicted,” the former council chair tweeted. New York City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito.
An Office of Racial Equity will mean that every New York City agency will be held accountable by being held accountable for its progress in addressing racial disparities. Like Kimberle Crenshaw states in his famous Tedtalk, On the Urgency of Intersectionality, “when you can’t see a problem, you pretty much can’t solve it.” Having an office that will compel city agencies to produce hard data will hopefully help us see the problems and address them. As a working class black Puerto Rican woman teaching and living in poverty (yes, even with a college degree) in the Bronx, I can personally attest that this will make a difference not only in my life but in the life of my family. and my students.
It is the victory of a people who emerged from the struggle.
There have been numerous protests during the pandemic, which prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration to create a racial justice commission, including on June 14, 2020, where Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and other members of the many Latinx African Diaspora communities in New York City marched. for racial justice. The march started in Washington Heights towards West Harlem and East Harlem/El Barrio in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.