“We Are Coming For Your Seat”: The Significance of Legislative Advocacy In Disenfranchised Communities

During the time of countless executive orders and many policies, bills  and courts of appeals it is important for communities of color to know what laws are being passed and how they may be affected by them.

The purpose of legislative advocacy is so that communities of color can have access to and better understanding of what kinds of laws are being passed at all levels and how do government, local and federal work in playing a part in creating bills that become laws. It is to inform these communities on how to prevent harmful legislation and elected officials that make policies against these communities from being in office.

Educating people in marginalized and disenfranchised communities specifically People of Color, Black and Brown Communities about the legislative process and how they can directly affect and impact these legislative processes and hold lawmakers accountable as well as how to effectively advocate against harmful legislation that infringes upon their human rights. Through voter registration, voter education, and community awareness of issues that impact them within upcoming elections.

Lack of knowledge around the legislative process has directly impacted my community and example of this was last year during the after the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott when the legislation was put into effect to limit the public from viewing body cam footage from police related arrest. While the murder occurred on September 20th it was merely 11 days before the House Bill 972 went into effect and people were looking for answers and footage from the incident. The main concern was that the community would go 11 days without any type of evidence surfacing , before we would never be able to see the footage again. This type of legislation takes away transparency between authorities and the communities in which they serve. It was also important to figure out how did this type of legislation get passed and the public was not aware of it.