Justice for Americans of color does not end with overhauling our criminal justice system – we need holistic, system-wide approaches to materially improve the lives of Black, Brown, indigenous and immigrant adults, children, and families, to fully confront and address the history of racism in this country and the ways in which it still manifests today. 

Congressman Connolly is fully committed to advancing racial, social, and economic justice by listening to his colleagues of color and supporting their ambitious and progressive legislation, including:

  • The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would end qualified immunity for police officers, and which Gerry amended to ensure that all funds paid by the Department of Justice’s civil assets forfeiture equitable sharing program be redirected to public welfare. 
  • The Green New Deal, a transformative piece of legislation that aims to end human made climate change and greenhouse gas emissions by investing in correcting the years of economic, environmental and racial injustices this country is built on, and ensuring everyone has access to clean energy, air, water and healthy food. 
  • The Environmental Justice Mapping and Data Collection Act would ensure the EPA collects and shares data on the communities that experience or are at risk of adverse environmental and health conditions, which are predominantly communities of color, indigenous and low-income communities. Gerry has been advocating for environmental justice since he was on the Fairfax Board of Supervisors, and was awarded the Protector of the Potomac award in 2016 for his advocacy against coal ash waste and water pollution that largely affected Black communities following the closure of the Possum Point power plant.
  • The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act addresses the unconscionable rate of death for mothers in the United States – by far the highest in the developing world – which is 3 to 4 times higher for Black mothers and almost 2 times as high for Native American and Hispanic mothers. The bill would make essential investments in the social determinants of health like housing and nutrition, as well as community-based organizations and maternal mental health, among other critical services. 
  • The Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act, a long overdue opportunity to confront the history of our nation founded on the enslavement, exploitation and disenfranchisement of Black people, and the continued legacy of slavery and racism in the United States, as well as exploring ways in which we can begin to compensate, rehabilitate and restitute those descended from this history. 
  • Statehood for the people of Washington, DC, a racist injustice that has deprived the more than 700,000 citizens of our nation’s capital voting representation in Congress since its creation. 
  • Finally enshrining Juneteenth National Independence Day as a federal holiday in 2021 to commemorate the emancipation of Black Americans from slavery at the end of the Civil War.
  • Consistently supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions here in Virginia and across the country, including support of the FUTURES Act which became law in 2019 and ensured $255 million in annual federal funding for HBCUs, as well as an increase in Pell Grant funding and streamlining of FAFSA student loan applications.