June 17, 2020

New Democrat Coalition Endorses Bill to Study Societal Forces Affecting the Social Status of Black Men and Boys

Today, the New Democrat Coalition (NDC), led by NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06), endorsed H.R. 1636, the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act. The legislation was introduced last year by a bipartisan group of Members, including NDC Reps. Lucy McBath (GA-06) and Cedric Richmond (LA-02).

"I believe that in addition to improving our law enforcement system, we need broader and more substantial action to address the systemic injustices that disadvantage Black Americans,” said NDC Chair Derek Kilmer. “That’s why I’m glad the New Democrat Coalition endorsed this bipartisan proposal led by New Dem Member Lucy McBath and the Congressional Black Caucus to establish a commission on the Social Status of Black Men & Boys at the United States Commission on Civil Rights. This Commission would examine social disparities that disproportionately affect Black men and boys and propose even more solutions that the federal government can take action on right now."

“We have the power, as lawmakers, to find ways to support our young men and identify solutions to the hardships they regularly experience,” said NDC Rep. Lucy McBath. “What we must learn through these initiatives is what we can do as a country to uplift the black men and boys in our communities. I am honored to serve as a co-chair of the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Caucus and to work with my New Dem colleagues to push this legislation further.”

The bill establishes a bipartisan commission made up of lawmakers and experts housed within the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to study the societal forces that have a disproportionately impacted black males in America. The commission will examine such issues as mortality and homicide rates, arrest and incarceration rates, poverty, violence, fatherhood, mentorship, drug abuse, disparate income and wealth levels, school performance at various grade levels, and health. The commission is required to produce an annual report of recommendations and solutions that will be submitted to the president and cabinet secretaries, Congress, the chairs of the appropriate committees of jurisdiction, and the public.

Yesterday, the NDC endorsed the Justice in Policing Act, a bicameral, comprehensive bill seeks to better hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement, and build trust between law enforcement and communities. Last week NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06) issued a statement after the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery and the subsequent days of protests in cities and towns across America. The statement came after the NDC hosted Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Karen Bass and New Dem CBC Members for a call to discuss action Congress can take to help rectify the injustice many Black Americans are experiencing and help bring our communities together. The NDC will remain partners with the CBC and Black leaders in condemning and working to end targeted police violence across the country.