June 29, 2021
United Black Agenda Calls on Gov. Murphy and Legislative Leaders to Dismantle Systemic Racism in New Jersey’s Legislative Process
The United Black Agenda (UBA) calls on Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, and Speaker Coughlin to take steps to dismantle systemic racism in the legislative process, namely by reforming the state’s budgeting process so it is more inclusive, transparent, and democratic, and by making transformative and reparative investments in the billions in Black communities and other communities of color.
Today, Governor Phil Murphy will sign New Jersey’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget. And with this signing, he culminates a budget process that largely shut out the voices of New Jersey’s Black and Brown communities and was instead led by New Jersey’s most powerful elected officials, each of whom are white men: Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Speaker Craig Coughlin.
To be sure, power given to a few, as here, not only undermines democracy but it also strengthens, empowers, and perpetuates systemic racism. That’s why New Jersey is home to some of the nation’s starkest racial disparities in the areas of wealth, health, education and incarceration — just to name a few. Racial inequity is built into New Jersey’s very foundation, which carries a direct through line from slavery that took root very deeply in the colony to today’s disparities.