REMARKS AS PREPARED
Governor Kate Brown
Black Community Leader Press Conference
July 27, 2020
It was important to me to participate in this process -- that my office be part of this table -- so we can work together to forge a path forward.
I count myself as one of the many white politicians whose good intentions haven’t done enough to tackle the scourge of systemic racism.
Yes, we passed juvenile justice reforms last year. But it took us too many years to get it done. We must go further.
Yes, we are engaged in justice reinvestment to reduce harsh prison sentences and reinvest the savings in crime prevention and drug treatment. But we are only scratching the surface.
We sit here today amidst a global pandemic that has sickened and killed Black, Latinx, Pacific Islander, and other communities of color at disproportionate rates.
Racism and racial disparities impact every part of our culture and our economy. And the pandemic has further exacerbated these disparities.
We need to change how we listen to, engage with, respond to, and support Black, Indigenous and People of Color and Tribal members in Oregon.
That means a lot more listening. And a lot more learning.
For me, it means centering racial equity as I build the state budget. Centering racial equity as we develop our 2021 legislative agenda. As we recruit and promote people in state agencies. And boards and commissions.
I am excited to partner with the community leaders on this call to cultivate a new narrative for Oregon and create a better future. Together.