Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia Gathers Advocates to Reflect on Results of CA Boys and Men of Color Investments and Envision Future Goals
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), newly named Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color (BMOC) gathered alongside colleagues and advocates for a press conference and informational hearing to reflect on the near decade of BMOC funding milestones and to envision future goals.
“We stand on the shoulders of our colleagues and advocacy partners that have come before us and laid out the groundwork of this boys and men of color policy movement. All of us are a product of 3 or 4 second chances. It should not matter where you come from, what you look like, or what your socio-economic standing is – everyone should have the same opportunities to achieve their California dream. We have already begun to see what can be achieved with targeted investments in our youth and communities of color, and we are here to build-out additional support infrastructure,” expressed Chairman Garcia, “our Committee has committed to take these conversations to every corner of our state. We will be working strategically with our colleagues to reach diverse regions so that we can best direct future investments.”
“As a mother, as a sister, as a grandmother now, we continue to face these issues that are before us and I am honored to be able to carry the water,” shared Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber (D- San Diego), BMOC Select Committee Member and Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, who continued on to say that “We have a challenge to change the whole narrative of what is happening in this country. This journey is more than just a few years. This journey is 400 years old for African Americans.”
BMOC Select Committee Member, Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) added, “The reality is that it has taken 400 years of subjugation to get us where we are today and we are not going to wait 400 years to turn it around. We are going to work on this as fast as we can and as hard as we can.”
Managing Director of Policy Link and Principal Coordinator of the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, Marc Philpart, affirmed the importance of partnerships and coalition building, saying, “We need all of you and more to drive the change we need to see in our communities.”
My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento Youth Fellow, Alejandro Galicia Cervantes said, “We want the state to continue funding safe spaces, safe programs that help us and give us a full wrap-around approach for our development.”
The press conference teed up awareness in advance of the BMOC Select Committee Informational Hearing which will be the first Garcia conducts as Chairman. The panels will take a closer look at the results of the near decade of state BMOC funding and receive feedback from youth, educators, and other advocates to help direct future investments.
“We have made many important strides to positively impact the lives of boys and men of color, but many challenges remain,” said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), BMOC Select Committee Member and Chair of the California Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus. “From housing to health care to civil rights, communities of color feel the impacts of our challenges most acutely. As a father, I look forward to working with colleagues on policies to lift up and create opportunity for our next generation of boys and men of color.”