Racial Justice

“The virus of racism persists in part because we can never fully understand what it is like to stand in someone else’s shoes. I can never fully understand what it means to be stopped while walking down the street, or while driving, just because of the color of my skin. I can never fully understand what it means to have a talk with my child about how to survive a police encounter. We often see each other but dimly, even with both eyes open.

“And yet, we must try. We must not turn away. We must acknowledge our own implicit biases. We must join together, not stand apart or stay silent. And use our voices to lift up, rather than divide.”

– Rep. Adam Schiff

 

Adam is committed to dismantling the systemic racism that plagues our country and making sure that everyone, no matter the color of their skin or the community they grew up in, has every opportunity to thrive and succeed. Adam has authored and supported legislation that aims to right these historic wrongs, including by reforming our criminal justice system, reimagining policing, and addressing longstanding racial inequities in our health care system. 


 

Ending Police Violence Against Communities of Color

Police brutality is an issue that has plagued communities of color, particularly Black communities, for far too long. The systemic lack of accountability has allowed some police and other law enforcement officials to perpetrate violence in communities they are meant to protect by profiling, arresting, and even murdering without cause. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, and so many others have been needlessly killed by police across the country, and reforms are critically needed.
  
Adam is proud to co-sponsor the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the House in March 2021. This bill is a comprehensive approach toward reimagining policing in this country by increasing accountability, restricting the use of certain policing practices, enhancing transparency, and establishing new training requirements and best practices. It also places new limits on qualified immunity as a defense to liability in private civil actions against officers and creates a national registry where data on complaints and records of misconduct will be compiled.
  
Adam will continue to support and fight for these reforms and others that will help reduce instances of police brutality and misconduct – because lives depend on it.

 

Reforming Our Criminal Justice System

While the U.S. has less than 5% of the global population, we account for nearly 25% of incarcerated individuals in the world. Mass incarceration and discrimination has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Black individuals, despite only representing 13% of the population in the U.S., account for approximately 40% of incarcerated individuals. Criminal justice reform is desperately needed.  
  
Adam strongly supported the First Step Act, which was signed into law in 2018. It has provisions aimed at reducing recidivism rates, restricting restraints on pregnant prisoners, sentencing reform, implementing comprehensive de-escalation procedures, and reporting on capacity to treat addiction issues. Further reform is needed, and Adam will continue to support and work on legislation that creates a criminal justice system based on human rights, restoration, and safety. For more information, visit the Criminal Justice Reform issue page.  

 

Securing Health Equity

As America confronts its legacy of racism and discrimination, we must recognize that in the field of healthcare, discrimination can be among the most pernicious because it is a matter of life and death. Adam believes we must apply a civil rights framework to healthcare, by ensuring that every patient receives equal care, regardless of the color of their skin, their ethnicity, or any other characteristic. Adam authored the Equal Health Care for All Act, which would establish an Office of Civil Rights and Health Equity within the Department of Health and Human Services, strengthening the existing Office of Civil Rights and create a private right of action for patients to bring suit in state or federal court for failure to provide equitable care.

 

Recognizing the Lasting Impacts of Slavery

Adam knows that the impacts of slavery are still pervasive in America, where institutional racism has exacerbated inequities in everything from housing and education to health care and incarceration for Black Americans. Schiff is committed to deconstructing institutional racism and addressing our nation’s shameful legacy of slavery.  
  
In order to confront and overcome that legacy, we must learn the full truth of slavery’s history and impact and find a path forward for healing. Adam is proud to cosponsor a resolution to establish a U.S. Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation. He is also a co-sponsor of legislation to would establish a commission to study and develop reparation proposals.   
  
Adam is also a cosponsor of a resolution that would create a Slavery Remembrance Day, as well as of a resolution that recognized June 19, 2021, as Juneteenth – which President Joe Biden consecrated as our newest national holiday.