JUNE 11, 2021 NF LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP: OUR RACIST PAST

Legislators in Oregon and Connecticut have been tangling with our racist past through legislation. Here are the highlights and lowlights!

Connecticut

  • HB6476
    • Why we’re watching: For the first time in 30 years, Connecticut will undergo a study to analyze discrimination against women- and minority-owned businesses in state contracts. The legislation’s sponsors noted the moment of reckoning following George Floyd’s death as a springboard for this initiative.
  • Amendment 501 to SB1073
    • Why we’re watching: Although the measure was defeated, its very existence is troubling. Public schools are confronting our racist past every day in history classrooms, informing students about events like the Tulsa Race Massacre. Many lawmakers would rather bury our past and paint a less confrontational and false history.

 Oregon

  • SB398
    • Why we’re watching: Nooses are a signal of white supremacy and a relic of our racist past. There’s no legitimate reason to publicly display a noose, and Oregon agrees. From now on, the presentation of a noose will be a hate crime, as long as Gov. Kate Brown does the right thing and signs the near-unanimously approved bill.
  • HB2935
    • Why we’re watching: This bill, also known as the CROWN Act, bans race-based hair discrimination. While Oregon has banned most discrimination from workplaces already, this addition permits Black workers to express themselves without worrying about their employment status.
  • HCR11
    • Why we’re watching: Since 1927, Oregon’s state song, “Oregon, My Oregon,” contained racist language emphasizing the virtue of fair-skinned, free men. Although the song is rarely sung, it’s an unfortunate example of the state’s racist past – one that took almost 100 years to rectify.

What do you think of the bills in this week’s legislative roundup? Did we miss anything? Drop us a line on any of our social channels or hit us up through our contact us form. Let us know what’s happening in YOUR neighborhood!

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