Read our full 2020 Advocacy Agenda HERE
In 2020, the Criminal Justice Committee will broaden the scope of our advocacy in the following ways:
1. School to prison pipeline
a. Work with the Education Committee to identify and address areas where systematic discrimination is affecting children color in Fairfax County Public Schools
b. Advocate for limiting of the scope responsibilities of the School Resource Officer (SRO) to prevent minority students getting caught up in the criminal justice system unnecessarily.
c. Advocate for the SRO program to be assigned a separate crime analyst to track SRO arrests and other activity.
d. Investigate if SROs cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and work to eliminate such cooperation.
2. Use of Force
a. Intensify efforts to identify the root causes for the discrepancy in how Use of Force (UoF) is applied by FCPD against African Americans;
Advocate for outside organization like the Center for the Study of Social Policy to be contracted by the FCPD to study the discrepancy.
b. Advocate for Sheriff’s Department to publish their UoF data, including the statistical breakdown by race and ethnicity.
3. Diversity of FCPD
a. Contribute to ongoing FCPD efforts to improve diversity of the department. The department was roughly 15% percent minority in 2013 and it remains the same today.
b. Advocate for FCPD to embark on more targeted efforts to address the trust deficit between African American community and FCPD
4. Oversight and Accountability
a. Advocate for Civilian Review Panel (CRP) and Independent Police Auditor (IPA) to have increased power to investigate Use of Force incidents;
i. Support HB1514 to grant CRP investigative authority
b. Advocate for Sheriff Department to submit the department to the CRP and IPA.
c. Advocate for the Police Body Worn Camera program to be fully and permanently adopted and implemented county-wide in 2018.
d. Advocate for Board of Supervisors to make it mandatory for FCPD officers to inform everyone they arrest or issue citations about CRP or IRP
5. Alternatives to Incarceration
a. End support for Diversion First program dependent pending county’s willingness to collect and publish diversity data demonstrating that minorities have equitable access to the program’s benefits as whites
b. Support Restorative Justice/Alternative Accountability Program
6. Arrests and Detention Procedures
a. Advocate for the reduction and eventual elimination in the disparity in arrests of people of color in the county.
b. In collaboration with the Political Action Committee, advocate for the ending cooperation between the FCPD and The Sheriff’s Office and Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE), other than that which is mandated by State or Federal law. The Office continues to voluntarily hold individuals beyond their release date at the request of ICE.
7. Community Engagement
a. Encourage county leaders to engage the minority committee in more deliberate attempts to understand our concerns with regard to criminal justice; serve as a partner for that engagement whenever possible
b. Host a Returning Citizens Resource Fair
i. Part A: Job and Continuing Education Fair
ii. Part B: Panel Discussion on voting rights restoration, criminal record suppression, and ban-the-box efforts.
c. Host more Blue vs Gold games
d. Host a Criminal Justice panel discussion focused on the county’s juvenile justice system
Criminal Justice Committee Chair: Luke Levasseur
In 2020, the Health Committee will have two main lines of effort to help ensure the residents of Fairfax County – particularly the poor and working class – improve the quality of their health. The first will be to educate the residents on the facts surrounding federal health insurance programs and benefits including the Affordable Care Act and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). We will simultaneously advocate for local elected officials to support these programs. Our second line of effort will be to educate the community on ways to establish and maintain healthy living.
1. Federal Programs
a. CHIP Reauthorization – We will advocate for Fairfax County Congressional representatives to continue funding for CHIP program.
b. Advocate for Congress to continue to support the Affordable Care Act by sending letters to Fairfax Congressional delegates of the
importance of affordable and accessible health care for Fairfax county residents.
c. Host public information forum to publicize facts and dispel rumors surrounding both the ACA and CHIP.
2. Host a Health Fair with National Coalition of 100 Black Women
3. Work with the Youth Council to host a Youth Suicide Prevention and education seminar to discuss the warning signs and available community resources.
4. Work with the Youth Council to host a seminar on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases
Health Committee Chair: Linda Shealey Cook
In 2020, the Political Action Committee (PAC) will continue to focus on building relationships within the community, educating our membership and supporting the NAACP on the efforts started in 2017. We will do more to turn our education into action, and increase our advocacy efforts. We will continue to highlight the importance of voting in all elections, but also stress the importance of participating in other efforts to communicate resident concerns.
1. Voter Registration and Get Out the Vote (GOTV)
a. Develop and provide training/informational opportunities throughout the year to inform and encourage active participation in the electoral process. Upon request, the PAC will coordinate with committees, such as the Memberhsip Committee, to make sure registration opportunities are available at their events as well.
b. Conduct Phone-banking
2. Voting Rights Infringement
a. Support No-Excuse Absentee Voting. We support efforts to repeal excused-based absentee voting laws.
b. Support the Right to Vote. We believe all citizens should be able to vote regardless of their criminal history. We will advocate for the
repeal of current discriminatory limits on the right to vote; and insert an affirmative right to vote in Virginia that cannot be abridged by law.
c. Work to reduce deceptive practices in polling locations
3. Encouraging Member Advocacy – Host a community information session on “Becoming a better Advocate.” The discussion will focus on the importance of grassroots organizing, community building, ways to be involved with the branch.
4. Voter Education
a. Host a candidate forum(s) for to allow members an opportunity to listen to and ask questions and concerns to candidates running for local, state and federal offices, particularly those offices that will appear on the ballot in 2018.
5. Environmental Justice – Educate the community on environmental justice – particularly the disparities in how environmental issues affect minority communities.
6. LGBTQ Advocacy
a. Work collaboratively with the Education and Legal Redress Committees, Education, and outside organizations such as FCPS Pride to
reduce discrimination at the workplace and in schools.
b. Petition the FCPS to fully implement the nondiscrimination policy passed on May 7, 2015 to include Gender Identity.
c. Support legislation changes that reflect the recently adopted policy, One Fairfax, when new policies and regulations are adopted, existing policies are updated and services are provided
a. Work collaboratively with the Education and Criminal Justice Committees and community organizations to monitor and advocate for sensible laws to protect undocumented residents from profiling, unnecessary detention, involuntary child abandonment, and unwarranted ICE activities.
a. Support fair bi-partisan redistricting efforts that do not disenfranchise minority communities.
Political Action Committee Chair: Karen Campblin
In 2020, the Economic Development Committee will work to enhance the capacity of African Americans and other underserved groups through financial economic education; individual and community asset building initiatives; diversity and inclusion in business hiring, career advancement and procurement.
1. Home Buying/Renting
a. Work with county to investigate for the possibility of discriminatory practices by land developers, realtors and landlords.
b. Advocate for transparency in the home buying process and rental process
c. Work with the Veterans Committee to ensure landlords keep their properties in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for people with disabilities to include disabled veterans in Fairfax County
d. Work with Education Committee to explore ways steering and other forms of housing discrimination affects youth
a. Advocate for more quality blue-collar employment opportunities in Fairfax County
b. Advocate for more trade school programs and entrepreneurial programs
c. Work with Veterans Committee to increase accountability and transparency when hiring officials discriminate against minorities and veterans
3. Community Engagement
a. Encourage county leaders and representatives to engage the minority community in more pronounced way to understand our concerns with regard to economic development, empowerment and veterans’ issues, and serve as a partner for that engagement whenever possible.
b. Host a Home-buying seminar
c. Host a panel discussion featuring leadership of the Zoning Commission and Economic Advisory Commission
Economic Development Committee Chair: Niki Zimmerman
Below are the 2020 priorities as developed by the Education Committee:
- Protect vulnerable students, faculty, and staff in Fairfax County communities and zip codes most heavily hit by COVID-19:
a) Create detailed online learning plans to address the specific hardships that have and will continue to befall these most vulnerable populations before the proposed Sept. 8 school reopening date
b) Conduct an ongoing review of health, safety, wellness, and educational metrics specific to these most vulnerable populations with monthly reporting
- Create an effective model for Equity and Cultural Responsiveness Team support in schools by the end of the 2020-2021 school year:
a) Evaluate the scope of work, leadership hierarchy, community outreach, and feedback structures within the new Chief Equity Academic Officer position
b) Review suspension, restraint, isolation, expulsion, and alternative school data for demographic bias
c) Assess the effectiveness of the new blended position via clearly articulated metrics that include both equity and academic measures
- Using recently released FCPD data, move the School Board to take a vote on removing school resource officers (SROs) from schools by the end of the 2020-21 school year
- Request the establishment of curriculum review committees that will scrutinize current curricula for racial or cultural bias, especially in the areas of Social Studies/History/English to identify resources and teaching practices that can promote a more inclusive worldview and a more complete study of United States and World History by the end of the 2020-21 school year
- Using 2019-2020 hiring and retention data, create a transparent, data driven plan to increase hiring and improve retention of Black and Latinx teachers. This plan must be assessed for progress semiannually in a public forum
- Review the advanced academic program (AAP) to examine its admissions process, goals, implementation, and accountability to identify its cost benefit as a program for educational enrichment
- Review demographic data on and access protocols to abstract math, Honors, AP, and IB classes with the goal of increasing participation of Black and Latinx students by the end of the 2020-2021 school year
- Examine the roles, limits, and domain of Principals and Regional Area Superintendents with the goal of ensuring that during the 2020-2021 school year we have implemented a system of effective oversight on issues of equity
- Review and revise the admissions process to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ):
a) Ensure admission standards are easily accessible to the public on the FCPS website by the end of 2020
b) Lobby the school board to establish a community-based admissions review board for TJ admissions in time for the freshman class of 2026
c) Review the policy allowing students from outside Fairfax County to be considered for admittance to TJ by the end of 2020
d) Ensure TJ reflects the population it serves
Education Committee Chair: Sujatha Hampton, PhD