Congresswoman Beatty Hosts Voting Rights and Equal Justice Forum
COLUMBUS, OH-Last night, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) held a virtual forum—streamed live on her Facebook page—with constituents of Ohio’s Third Congressional District. The ‘Voting Rights and Equal Justice Forum’ was open to all residents in the District, and provided an opportunity for Beatty’s constituents to have an open, honest conversation with her on voting rights, the ongoing push to guarantee justice for all Ohioans and Americans, and to strengthen accountability for public servants sworn to protect and serve every member of our community. Joining Beatty on the call as special guests were Brandi Slaughter, Member, NAACP Columbus Executive Committee; and Kyle Strickland, Senior Legal Analyst, The Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.
“We come together on this call in the middle of two national emergencies: the Coronavirus Pandemic and the pandemic of racism and violence against Black people and other communities of color,” Beatty said to open the event. “This is a difficult time, and like many of you I was outraged, horrified, and saddened by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery—just as we all were with the killings of Henry Green, Tyre King, and Jaron Thomas before them.” She added, “Let me be clear: racism is a national crisis that we must address head-on and without compromise. To that effect, I recently introduced a congressional resolution, H.Res. 990, that designates racism as a national crisis and calls on us to move forward together toward truth and reconciliation.”
Introduced earlier this month, Beatty has highlighted H.Res. 990’s importance on several national interviews. If passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, the resolution would formally recognize racism as a ‘National Crisis’ and calls on Congress to undertake a truth and reconciliation process to address the historic injustices that have plagued Black Americans and communities of color for centuries. The resolution currently has over 40 congressional cosponsors and is awaiting further consideration in the House Committee on the Judiciary and House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Later during the Forum, Beatty talked about the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, H.R. 7120, and discussed the importance of making sure that constituents are properly informed and prepared to vote in this year’s election and beyond. “I believe that the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is a bold, comprehensive reform bill that will address some of the most egregious problems in our criminal justice system by banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants and limiting the sale of military-grade equipment to police departments.” She continued, “Further, it will require body cameras on uniformed officers as well as dashboard cameras on all unmarked vehicles, protect civil rights by making it easier to bring criminal and civil cases against police misconduct, and improve accountability and oversight among law enforcement.” Beatty further explained that, “Tonight’s call is also about making sure you know how and when to vote, available resources and assistance, what to look for if voting instructions and/or dates change—and I am encouraging each of you to check your registration and to vote early.”