STATEWIDE — Maine legislators met via Zoom Friday in effort to fight racial injustices. Here’s a look at what some of those who participated had to say.
“Look at systemic racism in the state and to move our public policy to move towards eliminating disparities,” said Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross, D-Portland.
She facilitated the meeting with the goal of reducing systematic racism in Maine.
“The permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations will be using data to help identify discrepancies,” she said. “The only real way to answer that is to have as much qualitative data and quantitative data, so that actual outcomes.”
Rep. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop, is encouraging members to focus on the process as a whole rather than their own work
“This is a self-education process where we are just going to do the work. Make our recommendations to the permanent commission, the permanent commission will make its recommendations to the legislature, and then we will be back in control to the outcome of all of this,” he said.
Policy analyst James Myall of the Maine Center for Economic Policy emphasized the importance of using national statistics to fill in the gaps of missing information.
“In most cases, all the indicators show that Maine is not immune from the effects from systemic racism so there will be some instances where will point to national indicators.
The commission and legislators will continue meeting in the future.