We, the Black Community, Clergy and Labor Alliance (BCCLA) an independent and social activist organization dedicated to representing, promoting and protecting the social and economic interests and well-being of the Black community and Black workers, reaffirm our profound and enduring commitment to racial and social justice, cooperation and struggle for common good and our belief that everyone should have a good life and the opportunities, access and capacity required for this. Of necessity, this includes a quality education, good jobs with just wages and/or sufficient income from other sources, adequate and affordable housing and healthcare, a safe and healthy environment and security of person and community.
We recognize the critical role the political process plays in this and the need for communities and candidates for public office to come to agreement on mutual interests and to cooperate in pursuing and achieving common good. In the past, however, too often politics have been essentially transactions of convenience for candidates and community leaders and/or personalities without adequate involvement of the community or concern for its interests. This has led, too often, to confusing and conflating class interests with mass interests, group concerns with community concerns and personal benefit with collective benefit.
The character of the time and urgency of the situation demand that we do things differently, definitely better and with greater concern for Black community interests and the common good. In this critical moment in our history, we have come together to propose and strive to put in practice a covenant-based politics which is ethical in foundation, inclusive in form, people-focused, beneficial and practical in content.
We hold the position that support of any political candidate must be based on mutual respect, mutual benefit and the common good expressed in mutual commitments. Thus, political candidates who seek our support must recognize and respect our interests and endorse our list of vital interests and agenda. Below are a minimum list of vital interests and terms of mutual agreement with the 2013 LA mayoral candidates.
II. Terms of Mutual Agreement
1. A living wage requirement for all city of L.A. hotel and airport jobs and jobs with the City of L.A. contracts and/or taxpayer-funded projects;
2. Equitable representation of Black workers in jobs with City of L.A. contracts and/or taxpayer-funded projects;
3. Increased emphasis on recruiting, training, hiring and retention practices to facilitate equitable representation of Black workers in every contract and/or taxpayer-funded projects in the city of Los Angeles.
4. Support “Ban the Box” legislation to remove employment barriers for the formerly incarcerated, with special programs for re-entry residents, including training and mentoring programs;
5. Maintenance of the current equitable number of African American city employees;
6. Appointment of a Black Deputy Mayor and senior advisors in the mayor’s office in the areas of education, economic development and human services;
7. Appointment of an equitable percentage of Black general managers and members and presidents of commissions;
1. Investment in banks that provide foreclosure relief/assistance programs based in the Black community;
2. Expansion and funding of “First Time Buyer” programs focused in the Black community;
3. Support for rent control, affordable housing and mixed-use development in “underdeveloped” areas and communities of Marlton Square, the Crenshaw Corridor and Hyde Park.
1. Immediate funding of the Leimert Part Station and below-grade rail on Crenshaw Boulevard from 48th Street to 59th Street;
2. Development of “Commerce Centers” along main transportation routes through the Black community;
3. Restoration of bus/Dash service to ensure continuous public transportation routes between LAX-Crenshaw-Downtown-LA.
D. Economic Development
1. Increase and improvement of accessibility of Small Business Loans and Small Business Assistance Centers in the Black community;
2. Establishment of subsidized “Business Rent Control: for office/retail/warehouse rental properties with pricing based on Average Gross Receipts of the local area;
3. Partnership with and promotion of Black Business Commerce Centers in the city of Los Angeles convention and tourist information brochures;
1. Ensuring a high quality education is available to every Black child in every neighborhood through the allocation of necessary funds and resources to meet their specific needs- as LAUSD does for other students whose home language is non- standard English;
2. Engagement with UTLA in the policy areas of teacher effectiveness, evaluations and accountability;
3. Funding comprehensive social services, especially for foster-care children;
F. Legal Justice
1. Investigation of LAPD regarding public claims of police brutality, corruption, discrimination and racial targeting, both within the department and the Black community;
2. Contract with community-based organizations to provide cultural sensitivity training to LAPD recruits, officers and high-level staff;
3. Improvement in LAPD community complaint process to ensure transparency and a timely response regarding police misconduct;
4. Improvement and expansion of gang prevention and intervention programs;
5. Increase in youth engagement programs.
1. Development of a comprehensive “Health Initiative” that focuses on the major health issues disproportionately affecting the Black community: HIV/AIDS, hypertension, diabetes, mental illness and cancer;
2. Establish additional comprehensive health centers in school communities, i.e., high schools and their feeder schools.
III. Mutual Benefit
This covenant will serve several essential functions which aim not only to achieve concrete policy and political goals for community and candidate, but also to create a new way of political thinking and political practice. First, the covenant includes a rating system for candidates and thus, a basis for community support or non-support of a given candidate. Also, it will serve as the central point of reference for community conversations and media initiatives that BCCLA will launch to cultivate community commitment to this covenant process and its terms, and to foster expanded community engagement in this process in support of its goals and those who embrace them during and after elections. It will thus serve as an essential foundation for holding ourselves and others accountable for practices and policies which achieve particular and shared goals.
Finally, this covenant-based process of expanded political education, mobilization and participation, based on informed choice, clear terms and mutual commitment, will be of shard benefit to both community and candidate. And it will serve to open and expand a critical path to a truly cooperative effort for common good, i.e., building and sustaining the just and good city and society we all want and deserve.
Contact BCCLA at: 323-389-5130
Larry Aubry can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org