In January of this year, Facing Race: the 2013 Oregon Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity was released by Western States Center. The project provides a multi-issue assessment of policy votes made by legislators during the 2013 legislative session. The report card gave legislators individual grades based on their voting record on issues of racial equity.
When we talk about the impacts of legislation on communities of color, it’s important to remember that these policies have an exponentially greater impact on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of color and their families. For example Black and Latino same-sex couples are twice as likely to be raising children as white same-sex couples, yet with far less money and fewer resources than straight couples of color or white same-sex couples. Additionally, the unemployment rate for transgender people of color is nearly 30 percent, twice the rate of unemployment among the white transgender population. Finally, nearly 50 percent of LGBT students of color report being harassed based both on race and sexual orientation.
The racial equity report card assesses five major areas: civil rights and criminal justice, economic justice, education, health, and immigrant and refugee issues. As we know, each of these major areas of racial equity disproportionately impacts LGBT communities of color – which is why Basic Rights Oregon is committed to addressing racial equity in our policy and program work.
The report card graded legislators on 21 specific pieces of legislation, several of which Basic Rights Oregon played a lead role in – including HB 2611 Culturally Competent Health Care and HB 2787 Tuition Equity. We also provided strategic/lobby support to partner groups on HB 2134 Culturally Appropriate Data Collection Standards and SB 833 Safe Roads Act. A key part of our Racial Justice and Alliance Building Program is standing up for racial equity for allied organizations and taking action for racial justice on issues that impact LGBT communities of color.
Facing Race is a collaborative effort of the Racial Equity Report Working Groups that includes: Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Basic Rights Oregon, Causa Oregon,Center for Intercultural Organizing, Partnership for Safety and Justice, Urban League of Portland and Western States Center.
MAP – Broken Bargain for LGBT Workers of Color
Colorlines – Homeless Youth in Focus
Colorlines – Transgender Workers in the US Still Face a Bleak Landscape
Colorlines – New Poll Shows Young Poor People of Color Identify as LGBT
dot429 – New Study Explains Lives of LGBT Asian and Pacific Islanders
UCLA Williams’ Institute – LGBT African-Americans and African-American Same-Sex Couples