WASHINGTON — The start of legislative sessions across the country has demonstrated that Republicans are leaving Black Americans behind while Democrats are championing bills that give all communities the opportunity to thrive. Whether it’s health care, public education, voting rights, or reasonable gun safety laws, Democrats are getting things done to ensure that no American is left behind. Republicans, on the other hand, are fighting a hateful culture war that threatens Black communities and our shared history as a country.
“The GOP’s anti-Black agenda in the states is leaving communities even further behind and tearing apart the fabric of our democracy,” said DLCC interim President Heather Williams. “Our democracy can only function when every American has an equal opportunity to vote, learn about our shared history, and access to the services they need to survive, but the GOP is trying to drag the country backward through their majorities in state legislatures. Democrats understand that Black Americans have fought harder for this democracy than anybody else, and while the GOP wants to divide us to give bailouts to their rich friends, we are stronger as united Americans standing together for a brighter future.”
Here is a sample of some of the heinous bills Republicans are championing in statehouses:
- In Mississippi, Republicans in the House voted to make a separate court system in the city of Jackson, the Blackest city in America, that would be entirely appointed by white state officials.
- In Texas, Republicans are prioritizing bills to enact new voting restrictions, including a bill that allows for the appointing of election marshals to investigate violations of election law.
- In Missouri, Republican lawmakers are attempting to ban the teaching of critical race theory and encouraging teachers to instead take a course on ‘patriotism.’
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently blocked AP African American history from Florida high school curriculum, citing a 2022 law passed by the GOP-controlled legislature.
- Also In Florida, GOP legislators introduced a permitless carry bill, allowing anyone in the state to carry a weapon without any training or licensing.
Democrats in the states, on the other hand, are fighting for a slew of legislation that champions Black communities and allows all Americans to thrive:
- In Minnesota, state Senator Erin Maye Quade introduced legislation to appropriate $520,000 to support care for Black mothers during and after pregnancy.
- Arizona House Democrats have introduced a package of bills that would automatically register eligible voters, allow for same-day voter registration, and make sure voters are allowed to stay on the early voting list permanently.
- Georgia Democrats are fighting for a package of bills to address gun violence, including background checks for private transfers and safe storage.
- In 2022, Democrats in California expanded the Racial Justice For All Act, allowing currently incarcerated citizens to petition the court for remedy if their conviction was racially motivated.