New bill seeks penalty for placing racially motivated 911 calls

Oregon could adopt a new bill which would allow victims of racially motivated 911 calls to sue callers for up to $250. The catch is that victims of these calls would have to “prove the caller had racist intent, and that the caller summoned a police officer to purposefully discriminate or damage a person’s reputation.” The measure, which was approved by the House on Monday, was created by Oregon’s three Black lawmakers in response to a wave of publicized incidents where predominately white civilians across the country have called the police to investigate Black people for simply existing in public while Black.  Read the full story >> 

New bill combats maternal mortality rates among black mothers

  The Maximizing Outcomes for Moms through Medicaid Improvement and Enhancement of Services (MOMMIES) Act was introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) as a way of battling maternal mortality, which disproportionately impacts Black mothers in America. Medicaid covers nearly half of all births in the United States, and coverage for postpartum women is limited to 60 days after giving birth. The MOMMIES Act seeks to expand Medicaid coverage to include up to one full year after giving birth “Black women are nearly four times as likely to die from complications related to pregnancy than white women,” Sen. Booker said. “By expanding Medicaid coverage for pregnant women, we can begin to stem the rising tide of maternal mortality and close the egregious racial gaps that exist in maternal and infant health outcomes.” Read the full article >>

Black senator refuses to back down to proposed ‘stand your ground’ bill

USA TODAY — Arkansas State Senator Stephanie Flowers refused to be silenced during a recent debate surrounding the state’s proposed “stand your ground” bill. Sen. Flowers’ outrage was sparked when one of her white counterparts requested to impose a ten-minute time limit on debating the bill’s passage. Sen. Flowers urged her fellow lawmakers to consider her perspective as the only person of color on the state Judiciary Committee — and that of her black constituents — in the decision to pass a bill that gives everyday citizens the license to kill. The bill was struck down, and Sen. Flowers’ response has since gone viral. Watch it for yourself here >>