- 2020 – Alexandria City Council – Condemns Systemic Racism, Establishes Community Police Review Board
- 2020 – VA House HB 5029 Law-enforcement officer; failure to intervene in an unlawful use of excessive force, penalties.
- 2020 – VA House – HB 5043 Mental health crises; DCJS to assist DBHDS, etc., with development of Marcus alert system.
- 2020 – VA House – HB 5045 Inmate, parolee, probationer, detainee, or pretrial defendant, etc.; carnal knowledge.
- 2020 – VA House – HB 5049 Law-enforcement agencies; acquisition and use of military property.
- 2020 – VA House – HB 5051 Law-enforcement officers or jail officers; notice to Criminal Justice Services Board of misconduct.
- 2020 – VA House – HB 5052 Legal holidays; Juneteenth.
- 2020 – VA House – HB 5055 Law-enforcement civilian oversight bodies; localities may establish, duties, effective date.
- 2020 – VA House – HB 5058 Marijuana and certain traffic offenses; issuing citations, etc,
- 2020 VA House – HB 5062 Court authority in criminal cases; prosecutorial discretion to dispose of a criminal case.
- 2020 – VA House – HB 5069 Law-enforcement officers; prohibition on the use of neck restraints, exception, penalties.
- 2020 – VA House – HB 5072 Law-enforcement; Attorney Gen. authorized to file civil suit or inquire into any unlawful practice.
- 2020 – VA House – HB 5098 Hate crimes; falsely summoning or giving false reports to law-enforcement officials, penalty.
- 2020 – Shenandoah County Board – Resolution to let the community know they will continue to support African-Americans in the community.– News Article
- 2020 – The Diocese of Virginia Committee on Race and Reconciliation
- 2019 – Arlington County Board – Resolves to Achieve Equity in Policies, Budgetary Decisions — The Resolu
- 2020 – Virginia African American History Education Commission – Virginia Pilots Elective on African American History
- 2020 – Virginia School Boards Association – Error Webpage
- 2020 – Waynesboro School Board – Resolution condemning racism — News Article
- 2020 – Culpeper School Board – Resolution condemns racism and calls for conversation – News Article
- 2020 – State of Virginia – Virginia Passes Law Defining Racial Discrimination to Include Hairstyles, Other Historic Traits
- 2020 – Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors – Equal treatment of African Americans and condemning systemic violence toward members of the black community.
- 2020 – Fluvanna County – Resolution and Statement following the deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks
- 2020 – Middleburg City Council – Reassess Recognition Procedures After Racial Inequality Claim – News Article
- 2020 – Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia- Resolution of Sin of Racism
- 2019 – Virginia House – HJ 655 Lynching; acknowledging with profound regret the existence and acceptance within the Commonwealth.
- 2019 – Virginia Senate – SJ 297 Lynching; acknowledging with profound regret the existence and acceptance within the Commonwealth.
- 2007 – Virginia House – HJ 728 Atoning for the involuntary servitude of Africans and calling for reconciliation among all Virginians.
- 2020 – Virginia Commonwealth University – Anti-racism Statement of the VCU Faculty Senate
- 2020 – University of Mary Washington – Resolution on George Floyd and Systemic Racism
- 2020 – University of Virginia – Racial Equity Task Force: Final Report
- 2020 – University of Virginia – UVA Board of Visitors endorses changes to promote racial equity in the university community
- 2020 – University of Virginia – UVA Board of Visitors votes on 5 renaming landscape recommendations — News Article
- 2020 – University of Virginia – UVA Board of Visitors votes to contextualize Thomas Jefferson statue, remove George Rogers Clark statue — News Article
- 2020 – Washington and Lee University – Resolution: Solidarity and Anti-Racism Statements
- 2020 – Virginia Tech – Commission for Equity, Opportunity, and Diversity issues statement of support for Juneteenth
- 2018 – College of WIlliam and Mary – Apologizes for History of Slave Labor, Racism — News Article
We at RASR recognize that the Palestinian struggle is not simply a matter of foriegn policy, but a decades long liberation struggle against a multi-racial face of white supremacy that forces Palestinian Christians and Muslims into positions of a permanent underclass and captive labor pool.
Backed by extraordinary US financial, military, and political cover, Israel’s well documented human rights abuses against Palestinians continue with impunity—including such crimes as systematic land theft; home demolitions; night raids; imprisonment of men, women and children without charge or trial for years on end; apartheid structures such as segegated roads, segregated busses, Jewish-only colonies and neighborhoods, color coded license plates and ID cards, and multi-tired legal systems applied based on one’s religion and place of residence; bombing of schools, mosques, homes and hospitals; internationally condemned siege of Gaza; military courts for civilians, including children; and more.
In turn, Israel continues to train US police forces in brutal methods that are used against Black and Brown and poor American bodies. They export the most sophisticated surveillance and death technology throughout the world, particularly to pariah nations or entities engaged in human rights violations and even genocide, such as Apartheid South Africa, the Rawandan genocide, the Bosnia genocide, Myanmar genocide, South Sudan, and beyond.
At RASR, we will help draft legislation to bring awareness to and end the systemic and structural racism that Palestinianians are subjected to. We will work with coalitions to demilitarize the police in VA and end training with countries that have a record of human rights abuses. We will also work to maintain Virginians’ right to free speech by combating any effort to criminalize BDS.
Written by Zeina Hutchinson, RASR Palestine Rights Lead
- 2020 – VA HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 570 – Recognizing that racism is a public health crisis in Virginia. — News (Referred to Committee on Rules)
The Virginia Eviction Crisis
The Commonwealth of Virginia has perpetually faced an immense eviction crisis spanning over the past several decades. Virginia is the 2nd highest ranked state in regards to eviction rate amongst all of states in the US. Virginia has 15 of the top 25 cities in evictions which include 5 of the top 10 leading cities in evictions.
- North Charleston, SC 16.5%
- Richmond, VA 11.44%
- Hampton, VA 10.49%
- Newport News, VA 10.23%
- Jackson, MS 8.75%
- Norfolk, VA 8.65%
- Greensboro, NC 8.41%
- Columbia, SC 8.22%
- Warren, MI 8.08%
- Chesapeake, VA 7.9%
There is a vast racial disparity in regards to evictions. African Americans are evicted at a rate 10x higher than any other racial counterpart in the same eviction and economic status. Housing complexes and low income apartment neighborhoods are the main targets for evictions; these tend to usually be in neighborhoods with a high concentration on minorities, particularly African Americans. These predatory practices are one of the biggest factors in the racial disproportion in evictions for African Americans. This exacerbates an array of other housing and economic issues that negatively affect African Americans disproportionally, including redlining, property value, gentrification, credit, home ownership, and housing security.
RASR at Work
We at RASR have and will continue to work on a grassroots activist and a legislative political level to come up with cognitive solutions to the eviction crisis in Virginia. We have compiled an ample amount of data to properly paint and present the eviction issue within the state. We have also done first hand work with many people from tenants who are currently facing evictions to working with other organizations and lawyers who are also combatting evictions, as well as legislators and politicians all the way up with meeting with US Congress members who represent the state of Virginia.
We are introducing and supporting legislative changes to amendment the eviction and housing laws and regulations in the state to alleviate the eviction crises. Particularly including but not limited to writing or supporting VA House and Senate Bills to the Virginia General Assembly to actually create legal changes to improve the eviction rates. We will track statistical changes in eviction rates within the state to assure there is actual improvement in this area and will continue to hold ourselves and legislators accountable for improving on this matter.
Written by Rashad Pearson, RASR Housing & Evictions Lead
- 2020 VA House – HB 5064 Virginia Residential Landlord &Tenant Act; landlord remedies, noncompliance with rental agreement.
- 2020 – Alexandria City Council – Resolution – Condemns Systemic Racism, Establishes Community Police Review Board
- 2015 – Old Dominion University – Resource – Residential Segregation in Norfolk, Virginia: How the Federal Government Reinforced Racial Division in a Southern City, 1914-1959
- The Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law — The Report — News Article
- Encyclopedia Virginia – Library of Virginia – African Americans and Politics in Virginia (1865–1902)
- Encyclopedia Virginia – Library of Virginia – Racial Integrity Laws (1924–1930)
- 2019 – Dr. Gianluca De Fazio, James Madison University – “Racial Terror: Lynching in Virginia, 1877 to 1927” – News Article
- Loudoun County – Timeline of Important Events in African American History in Loudoun County, Virginia
- 2019 – Loudoun County – The History of the Loudoun County Courthouse and Its Role in the Path to Freedom, Justice, and Racial Equality in Loudoun County
- 2019 – Carry Me Back: Virginia’s historical reluctance to reject racism
- 2003 – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Department of History – We the “White” People: Race, Culture, and the Virginia Constitution of 1902
- 2002 – The Campaign for Racial Purity and the Erosion of Paternalism in Virginia, 1922-1930: “Nominally White, Biologically Mixed, and Legally Negro”
Virginia has a long history of systemic and structural racism in the area of voting rights over its 402 year history as the oldest state legislature in the United States. One of the most racist provisions in the current Virginia constitution is a lifetime disenfranchisement of voting rights of persons with felony convictions unless such voting rights are restored by the Governor. When this provision was put into the 1902 constitution, one of its proponents said that it will keep the “darkies” from voting. Historically, this provision has disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of African American voters in Virginia.
In its recently completed special session, the Virginia General Assembly has finally passed a proposed constitutional amendment dealing with this matter. The proposed amendment would have to be passed again in identical form next year and ratified by the voters in November 2022 to become part of the Virginia Constitution. The amendment would strike the old provision and provide that there is a fundamental right to vote in Virginia which can be abridged only for two reasons: a temporary suspension when incarcerated in prison after conviction of a felony or if adjudicated by a court to be mentally incompetent. The right to vote would be automatically restored upon release from prison without any action by either the voter or the Governor.
Over a decade ago, Stephen Spitz, a RASR advisory board member, introduced a resolution to the Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) calling for automatic restoration of voting rights upon release from prison. This resolution passed FCDC and then was passed unanimously by the Democratic Party of Virginia.
Among the new election laws, if signed by the Governor, passed by the General Assembly recently are a local option for Sunday early voting, authorization for drop boxes, modifications of absentee voting requirements, and prepaid postage for mail in voting.
The General Assembly also passed the Virginia Voting Rights Act, which will be implemented by the Attorney General. This important new Act provides that local jurisdictions cannot engage in changes to voting (like closing or relocating polling locations) without either preclearance by the Virginia Attorney General or sufficient notice to the public so that a lawsuit timely could be filed.
Written by Stephen Spitz, RASR Criminal Justice Lead