***Note*** For our first legislative action, we planned a letter-writing campaign urging Sen. Tina Smith to cosponsor S. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. Just hours before our campaign publicly launched, however, Sen. Smith went ahead and cosponsored S. 40! This is amazing news and we thank Sen. Smith for taking this action. Since we already have a template for this campaign, and there is momentum for it, we’re going to re-direct it to Rep. Angie Craig, the only Minnesota Democrat who hasn’t cosponsored their respective bill. If you know anyone in Rep. Craig’s district (Eagan, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Northfield, Red Wing, etc.), please ask if they’d be interested in participating! ***End Note***
We’re kicking off our legislative actions by advocating for H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. This bill will set up a federal commission to study the injustices that African Americans have faced—from slavery to today—and make recommendations for ways to remedy the inequities that those abuses created.
If passed, Congress will not be obligated to follow through with the commission’s recommendations, but starting this commission is a very important step in the fight for racial equity.
The bill was first introduced in the U.S. House in 1989 and has been reintroduced every year since then, but it hasn’t made any progress until very recently. The House version of the bill is sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and is cosponsored by more than 180 representatives, including nearly all of Minnesota’s Democratic delegation. The Senate version of the bill is cosponsored by both Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Tina Smith, among many others.
We want Rep. Angie Craig to cosponsor it as well! By adding her name as a cosponsor to H.R. 40, it will further show that this bill is popular and needs to be voted on as soon as possible.
We’re asking Rep. Craig’s constituents to please send her letters and emails urging her to cosponsor the legislation. We’ve written a letter below that you may send to her office. Feel free to write your own letter or make edits to our template. Personalized letters usually receive more attention. Hard copy letters sent through the mail receive more attention than emails. (Emails still get the message to Rep. Craig’s office, so please send the letter by the method that makes sense for you.)
Please copy and paste the below letter into your document or Rep. Craig’s email form. Remember to fill in the blanks with your personal information. You can then send it to:
The Honorable Angie Craig 12940 Harriet Ave. S. Suite 238 Burnsville, MN 55337
A LETTER TEMPLATE FOR REP. CRAIG’S CONSTITUENTS
(Date) The Honorable Angie Craig 12940 Harriet Ave. S. Suite 238 Burnsville, MN 55337 Dear Representative Angie Craig, My name is _________ and I am one of your constituents in _________, MN. I urge you to please cosponsor H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. Since first being enslaved and brought to North America in 1619, Black people in the United States have faced unimaginable racism. The injustices continue today with economic, political, educational, and social discrimination. H.R. 40 would create a commission that studies these inequities and makes recommendations for ways to remedy them on a national scale. Locally, Minnesota has some of the worst racial disparities between Black and white people in the country, including wide gaps in income, employment, homeownership, and education achievements. Our state’s history of racial covenants, redlining, and other racist policies exacerbated all of these disparities. An effective program of reparations can ultimately help right these wrongs by providing restitution for the inter-generational wealth that was stolen from Black families. Moreover, reparations will help the entire country: A report by McKinsey & Company found that the racial wealth gap will cost the U.S. economy up to $1.5 trillion by 2028; closing the gap, however, can lead to a six percent jump in the country’s GDP. We cannot wait another day to provide redress to the Black community. H.R. 40 and its companion bill in the Senate, S. 40, enjoy broad support among your Democratic colleagues. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Tina Smith, Rep. Dean Phillips, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Rep. Betty McCollum have already signed on as cosponsors to their respective bills. You are the only Minnesota Democrat who has not yet signed on. By adding your name as a cosponsor, you will further show that this bill is popular and needs to be voted on as soon as possible. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, (Your Name) (Your Title, if applicable) (Your Address) (Your City, State, Zip) (Your Phone Number)
Thank you for reaching out to Rep. Craig about this important bill!
FIND ALL OF THIS MONTH’S ACTIONS BELOW