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Civil Rights Group Advancement Project Responds to President Biden’s State of the Union Address

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 1, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC – In reaction to the State of the Union, Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director at the Advancement Project National Office, a national civil rights organization, issued this statement:

“Tonight’s State of the Union was an opportunity for President Biden to address the most pressing issues facing our country, including those that most directly impact Black, Latinx, AAPI and Indigenous communities. 

“President Biden’s remarks on policing failed to present a new vision for public safety. We can’t keep relying on recycled ideas that endanger our communities or increase funding to bloated police budgets. Our communities deserve to live in a world that is free and safe from the violence and racism inherent in policing.  We deserve bold and courageous solutions that get at the root of the problem without criminalizing people of color.  Keeping our families and communities safe requires more than policing. We need to reinvest in our communities and demand increased transparency and accountability for those who protect and serve us. The only way to stop police violence is to make significant public investments in people–not police. 

“Likewise, while President Biden loudly and clearly reaffirmed his commitment to protecting our freedom to vote, his call to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the DISCLOSE Act should have more directly addressed the ways in which anti-voting rights legislation has impacted communities of color. In the past year, legislators across the country have stacked the laws to make it harder, and in many ways nearly impossible, for many Black and Brown voters to vote. We need immediate action to protect early voting, voting by mail, and prevent further anti-voting laws that silence our communities.

“President Biden acknowledged the grief and loss, financial hardship, and consistent change young people and their families have experienced in the ongoing pandemic. His new strategy to address mental health especially among young people is an encouraging step forward. Young people need schools that are places of healing, not harm and trauma.  We join young people in demanding police free schools and real investment in school-based mental health supports.

“Finally, the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, who would be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, as well as the first public defender on the Supreme Court, was rightfully celebrated tonight as a significant breakthrough. 

“Our ability to thrive in our communities is not a partisan issue. We urge President Biden and his administration to take bold action and to do everything in their power to ensure that communities of color can live free and safe.”

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