State lawmakers have revived the Texas Black Caucus Foundation in an effort to bring research and analysis to the state’s decision-making process.
“We’re going to now have a choir that is bigger than simply the Texas Legislative Black Caucus,” Representative Harold Dutton toldThe Dallas Morning News, adding “And for the things that we can agree on, we’ll be singing those the loudest and all in one voice.”
The foundation, originally founded in 1985, is planning to collaborate with businesses, universities, religious organizations, and others to “research, analyze, develop and share information about public policy solutions for the crucial issues facing Black Texans,” organizers stated to the news outlet.
The foundation also hopes to use a renewed “3E Fund” approach to encourage education, engagement, and empowerment, according to State Sen. Royce West of Dallas.
Their goal is to be a part of the 2021 Texas legislative session, to provide their research findings to the people in charge making decisions and policies, including navigating the pandemic.
The foundation will also report findings on police brutality and healthcare access for the uninsured. They’ll be calling on activists who marched this summer in protest of George Floyd’s murder.
The work of the foundation also hopes to bridge ideologies between Progressives and more moderate Democratic voters. Some believe the call to “defund the police” caused some Democrat to lose election races this year.
“We recognize that energy and what’s happening right now in this movement. They need to be able to have a place where they can actually make a difference with that energy,” Pflugerville Council member Rudy Metayer told The Dallas Morning News.
Metayer is the president and executive director of the foundation and hopes that it can provide the space for activists and elected officials to get on one accord using research, lived experiences, and legislation to reach goals.
The foundation has reportedly already gotten to work, raising money with the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans to develop an agenda for state lawmakers.
The Texas Legislative Black Caucus is supporting the foundation’s effort by pushing criminal justice reform bills including the George Floyd and Botham Jean Acts.
The acts propose to ban chokeholds in the state, require officers to step in if excessive force is being used, and change castle doctrine while bolstering body cam policies, respectively.
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