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On the last week of August, Californians For Justice made an appearance at the Capitol! What were we doing in Sacramento? We spent a day there to let our state representatives know what Black and Brown youth need to feel safe and supported at school. At CFJ, we believe in the Power of Relationships, so we gathered student leaders from Fresno, San Jose, Oakland, and Long Beach to meet with their elected officials and recruit them in the fight for racial justice and equity in our schools!

It was a packed day for 20 of our youth leaders, who met with their assembly members, senators, and their legislative teams, to discuss the following:

  • We asked officials to support Senate Bill 274 and extend the ban on wilful defiance suspensions – a harmful practice rooted in implicit bias and anti-Blackness.
  • CFJ youth also asked their representatives to support Assembly Bill 1323 in order to help limit the contact of law enforcement with students on campus.
  • Student leaders also shared local policy asks, including more investment in mental health resources, increasing the number of counselors of color in school districts, and support for youth vote in school board elections.

Our local work is just as important and is supported by our mobilization at the state-level, so we are excited to have the opportunity again to flex our youth power in our Capital!

It’s important for us to go up [to the capitol] and speak directly to [legislators]. Bringing our experiences directly to an adult is way better than having just another adult speak on our experiences for us. They got to see the emotion and drive that motivated us to do this work.

– Jamaka Walton, CFJ Fresno Youth Leader


Stay tuned as we continue to build our muscle in relationship-building – whether it is with our legislators or school district officials, our youth know that together we can shape our schools and policies towards equity and justice.

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