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6/3/2020 MEDIA ADVISORY: Rep. Williams and other legislators to hold press conference tomorrow over the murder of George Floyd and systematic racism in RI
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence) will be joined by several other legislators and elected officials at a press conference on Thursday, June 4 at 11 a.m. on the State House steps (Gaspee Street side) to announce several areas of systematic racism in Rhode Island government that need to change in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

“The killing of George Floyd was a wake-up call to many about the systematic racism that permeates our society, but these injustices of been long known to Rhode Island’s community of color.  The persecution, harassment, and violence against the community of color must end and if our leaders are truly committed to ending these continuous injustices, the areas that we will discuss at the press conference must be changed immediately and permanently,” said Representative Williams.

Representative Williams will present several key areas in Rhode Island governance that need to be addressed and changed in order to eliminate systematic racism in Rhode Island.  These changes include:
  • The lack of diversity reflective of our state in the Rhode Island judicial system and the lack of judges of color on the bench. 
  • The lack of diversity within our state’s public safety system and the lack of promotions for people of color serving in our police and fire departments.
  • The lack of people of color from the urban core working in Rhode Island’s suburban communities and governments.
  • Changing the make-up of boards and commissions, especially paid board positions, to properly and accurately reflect the diverse population of Rhode Island.
  • The stopping of outsourcing our taxpayer dollars to out of state individuals for government positions when there is a wealth of in-state talent within the community of color.
  • A raising of the 10 percent quota for minority businesses applying for state contracts to 25 percent.
  • Greater minority representation in the bidding of state contracts.
  • Changing the state contract bidding process that is particularly onerous for minority owned businesses and removing the barriers that are currently in place.
  • Changing the state’s civil service exam that discriminates against people of color when applying for state jobs.
  • Licenses for undocumented residents.
  • Increased funding for school and after-school programs.
  • The creation of a state and local police community reform task force.
  • Increased emphasis on youth employment, particularly within Rhode Island’s urban core.
  • Instituting the use of body cameras for all Rhode Island police departments.
  • Sweeping reforms to current police conduct polices, including a three-strike system to officers with numerous verified conduct complaints against them.
  • Increased minority access to healthcare and financial institutions and the services they provide.
  • The creation of a true living wage for the hard-working members of the community of color.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903