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Laws, Liberation and Love |

Legislative Standards

Laws, Liberation and Love | Legislative Standards is an instrument you can use as a companion while looking at legislative concepts or active pieces of legislation to determine whether or not they meet the standards of The Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects, The Beautiful Project and National Crittenton: the uplift, support and celebration of Black girls and the communities in which they live and love. According to the Center for American Progress, Black women have turned out to vote in higher rates than any other demographic in the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012, and more recently were responsible for upsets in gubernatorial and Senate races. Black women overwhelmingly support more progressive candidates and platforms because the personal has always been political for them. More specifically, private troubles have often become public issues that helped transform a nation. Because of interlocking systems of oppression, what’s best for Black women and girls is typically best for many communities. 

2021 Legislative Standards

The 2021 Legislative Tracker

The 2021 Legislative Tracker we’ve curated is designed to give you a comprehensive overview of the legislation proposed that impacts the stakeholders—Black girls and women—in the communities we live in and love, in one way or another in key states across the Southeast. You’ll find the state legislatures of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee represented. (We’ve chosen those states because it’s where we have strong relationships and are currently working.) Even if these proposed bills don’t make it into law (this go ‘round), there are a few reasons it’s important to track what’s being proposed and by whom. A few of those are detailed below.

Reason to Track Proposed Bills
Know How it Starts – A bill introduced by members of a legislature is the first step to the creation of a new law.

Know What it Says – If you know what an elected official is proposing at this early stage of the process, you can be part of the political action necessary to either help get it passed (if it is good) or work to defeat it (if it is bad).

Know Where They Stand – This information is a good way to understand where the elected officials of your state (and others) stand on issues that are important to the people who they purport to serve. It’s one thing to run on a platform; it’s another to abandon it once elected to office, which some legislators do. This tracker can help any public servants’ constituency understand if the representative is actually doing the work they’ve been elected to do, which is to work for all the people of the state.

Know What’s Next – Once you understand who your representatives are (using their records, not just their stump speeches), it can inform your political action. Do you want to help get the person re-elected? Work for a better candidate? Or be more strategic in holding them accountable?

Know What Else is Happening – This tracker gives you an opportunity to look at legislation across multiple states without having to work at it. When you get to do that, you start to notice trends. (You may note skimming this, for example, “Whew! They’re always coming for women, huh?!”) Any information you have makes you a better-informed citizen.

Check out what we support, oppose and are watching in a few southern states by clicking here. Let us know what you’re thinking.


Refine

A bill introduced by members of a legislature is the first step to the creation of a new law.


Listen

It can help any public servants’ constituency understand if the representative is actually doing the work they’ve been elected to the legislature to do, which is to work for all the people of the state.


Think

Once you understand who your representatives are, it can inform your political action, in terms of either helping to get the person re-elected or work for a better candidate. Any information you have, makes you a better informed citizen.


Design

Taking a look at proposed legislation across multiple states, you start to notice trends. You may note skimming the Legislative Tracker, for example, “Whew! They’re always coming for women, huh?!”

Follow our column.

Our monthly column, Under the Dome, penned by Polly C. Speak, follows the happenings of #msleg, specifically, with some attention to breaking legislative stories in our other tracked states. Catch up on our most recent, here. 
Interested in learning more about our methods or how you can use these tools in your community?

We'd love to hear from you.  

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