COMMUNITIES OF COLOR ARE LAST WHEN IT COMES TO THE RELATIONSHIP WITH POLICE AND ENFORCEMENT, SO THEY SHALL BE FIRST
Relationship strengthening between police and the communities will take a balance of legislated changes that bring accountability and intentional and meaningful dialogue in communities. Careful work with the Police, Black Lives Matter, NAACP, local churches and other community groups will be a focus of my administration.
All police shootings should be investigated by an Independent Prosecutor in a process overseen by the Attorney General.
Police forces in our country have, in some cases, begun to look less like civilian police forces and more like small armies. Deescalating conflict between the police and community means also strengthening protocols around acceptable forms of police weaponization.
Racial impact statements should be used to evaluate the possible inequitable implications proposed legislation can have on communities of color.
Black Lives Have Been Last, So They Shall Be First
The history of slavery in this country, and the racist policy-making that defines most of race-relations since then, has denigrated African-Americans to last, often with tremendous disadvantages. The areas of life were African-Americans have been made last cuts across the categories of “the last are first” agenda. It would be a goal of my administration to reduce the racial disparity in our economic, social and political system. However, to really begin to make things right, real reparations are owed to African-American families. This Administration, led by a white governor, does not pretend to have the answer to reparations, and feels it would be entirely inappropriate to offer something concrete. However, a Black-Ribbon Panel on Reparations would be one of the first special councils formed during my administration, with the expressed purpose of presenting to the Administration, and legislature, a proposal for reparations.
Criminalizing Marijuana Has Led People of Color To Be Treated Last
American society has been rethinking its assessment of marijuana for some time. Why is it treated any differently than cigarettes or alcohol? Several states, including Colorado, have legalized marijuana and embrace it as part of an active economy. It is difficult, here in the state of New Jersey, to justify why a disproportionate number of young black and brown men are locked up for smoking a joint while white young men are starting legal businesses based around selling weed. This administration would sign legislation that legalizes marijuana for recreational and medical use. The legislation would regulate an appropriate age for legal use, and design careful legislation about what locations are appropriate for usage (much like cigarette laws). A tax on marijuana would be used for education about the risks associated with marijuana-use and for drug treatment programs. Fiscal gains from new marijuana-based businesses should benefit urban enterprise zones. Additionally the state of NJ would partner with poor communities and groups of people stigmatized when seeking work (the disabled, transgender persons and the formerly incarcerated) to launch partnerships between the state and workers for the production and sale of marijuana in order to power a people’s economy. Under our plan workers would truly benefit from their labor rather than allowing big companies to monopolize this new economic opportunity. Finally, this administration would seek legislation to allow current sentences of inmates for marijuana related offenses to be reconsidered within the state’s new legal framework around marijuana.