Home | Menu | Sign Up | Donate

Did you write in yet?

Today is Juneteenth, and I'd like to amplify the words of Jamelle Bouie in his Op-Ed for the New York Times yesterday:

"Juneteenth may mark just one moment in the struggle for emancipation, but the holiday gives us an occasion to reflect on the profound contributions of enslaved black Americans to the cause of human freedom. It gives us another way to recognize the central place of slavery and its demise in our national story. And it gives us an opportunity to remember that American democracy has more authors than the shrewd lawyers and erudite farmer-philosophers of the Revolution, that our experiment in liberty owes as much to the men and women who toiled in bondage as it does to anyone else in this nation's history."

If you haven't already, take a moment to honor this holiday by sending a letter to Congress and urge them to co-sponsor a vital resolution condemning police brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive force.

Right now, the House has legislation that would:

  • Support the adoption of law enforcement policies that reduce instances of police brutality, profiling and use of force on people of color and other marginalized populations;
  • Improve oversight and accountability mechanisms and allow for independent investigations into officers and police departments;
  • Facilitate the establishment of civilian review boards that would have authority to investigate police misconduct, and disciplinary action of officers.

Efforts by Congress to address systemic racism are critical, but they're just the start. We need extensive reforms at all levels of government. I believe that the next logical steps include a complete reimagining of what policing in this country looks like.

The conversations I've had in the last few weeks with community members, police, and experts within criminal justice reform organizations have made a few things clear: we are relying on police officers for too many things, most of which they are not training to effectively address.

Whether it's helping families struggling with housing insecurity connect with resources; de-escalating and ensuring the safety of an individual experiencing a mental health crisis; or attempting to help in an overdose situation – there are people better equipped to respond. It's time to reallocate funds and end the use of police departments as the catch-all.

It's my hope that, in this flashpoint in American history, we've experienced in the last few weeks will spark lasting change built on transparency and genuine empathy.

More soon,


Posted on June 19, 2020.

Meet Jim

Jim McGovern represents the 2nd District of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has earned a national reputation as a tireless advocate for his district and as a champion for food security, human rights, campaign finance reform, social justice and peace.

Learn More