Black Americans were already reeling from the disproportionate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic when details of two Minneapolis police officers’ fatal attack on George Floyd emerged. And the unjust killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor were still fresh in our hearts and minds as protests against police brutality began to engulf cities across the country.
During this critical election year, a growing number of political candidates have incorporated their personal activism against police violence into their political campaigns. And PFAW’s Next Up Victory Fund has created a slate to help elect candidates who are committed to that vital work.
The “Stop Police Killings” slate, which was announced on October 4 in a video press call, is composed of more than 100 candidates who are running for state and local office in a total of 25 states. Each candidate was vetted for the slate through a comprehensive questionnaire on their views on multiple issues related to ending police violence.
Next Up Victory Fund was created in 2017 to elect young, progressive candidates who understand the needs and experiences of their communities. Since the program’s launch, it has helped more than 250 endorsees win their races. Next Up also played a pivotal role in helping Virginia flip from red to blue in the 2019 elections.
Previous Next Up slates have highlighted other urgent social problems that elected leaders can play a role in solving. In 2020, the need for a slate of this kind was self-evident: The majority of Americans agree that major changes in policing are necessary for our country. Even amid the national movement against racist police brutality, fatal police violence has continued. Justice is still not being served. At the federal level, House Democrats in Congress passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in June. But the Republican-led Senate’s refusal to take up the bill for a vote magnifies the need for local action. Alongside local activists and community leaders, elected officials can play an essential role in creating solutions to stop police killings.
Together, we can make history in the 2020 elections – and you can help the candidates on this slate claim victory on Election Day! Even from afar, your support can ensure that these candidates get out the vote in every corner of their cities, counties, and states during these last critical weeks. Learn more about the candidates and how you can pitch in here.