FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 18th, 2020
CONTACT: Fawn Bolak, Communications Director at [email protected]
DENVER: In response to troubling statements and disappointing records on racial justice issues of multiple Colorado U.S. Senate candidates, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest multi-issue progressive advocacy organization, calls on Colorado candidates for office at every level to publicly commit to anti-racism and anti-oppression education. ProgressNow Colorado released the following statement:
“The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have underscored a compelling need to address police violence against Black persons, and the current COVID-19 pandemic has vividly exposed existing racial disparities in our health care, education, and employment systems. Activists across Colorado have rightfully renewed demands for political leaders and those running for office to commit –or recommit– to advancing racial justice in our state and dismantling white supremacy. Last week we celebrated the passage of an historic police reform bill, SB 217: recognizing that this legislation is an initial step in Colorado’s progress on this issue.
As an organization, we affirm that systemic racism runs deep throughout our justice system and our national institutions. We affirm that all elected officials have a greater responsibility to be accountable for their words, histories, and actions. They also have a firm obligation to seek out education to understand and address racism, violence, and racial inequities, in order to best serve their constituents and our great state. It’s simply not enough for political candidates and current elected officials to express support for racial justice. They must lead by example, in part, by committing to anti-oppression every day and educating themselves accordingly.
Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of the Charleston massacre, where nine Black persons were murdered by a white supremacist while attending religious service in a historically Black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The anniversary of this tragedy serves as a reminder that a comprehensive response to systemic oppression and discrimination against the Black community is long overdue. Candidates for office, especially white candidates, can no longer turn a blind eye to the realities of white supremacy or waver on the issue of basic human rights, dignity, and security for Black people and communities of color.””