ACLU of Nebraska, partners call for a special session to focus on racial justice
UNL Black Student Union president: "Racial justice can't wait until January."
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska is calling for the state legislature to reconvene for a special session to address police reform and racial justice.
The Nebraska Legislature concluded for the year last week, but University of Nebraska-Lincoln Black Student Union president Batool Ibrahim says there is still plenty of work to be done.
“Racial justice can’t wait until January,” Ibrahim said. “In this last session, there were a lot of actions that were taking place that then were halted because the session stopped. This is a crucial time and our legislators, our state senators, our elected officials have a moral obligation right now to serve communities that are calling for action.”
A special session calls senators to the Capitol to focus on specific issues.
Per the ACLU of Nebraska’s official website, issues of importance include:
- Enacting commonsense police oversight requirements statewide.
- Protecting meatpacking plant workers.
- Ending natural hair discrimination in the workplace.
- Eliminating the permanent police presence in our schools.
- Ending cash bail.
- Adopting more sensible drug policies.
- Restoring the right to vote.
- Adopting legislative racial impact statements.
Black Leaders Movement marketing and public relations director Paska Juma says that Governor Ricketts’ decision to veto LB 1060, a bill that would have banned natural hair discrimination in the workplace, was particularly disappointing.
“This is the natural way God made my hair,” Juma said. “There shouldn’t be a problem with the way that my hair grows out of my head to be deemed unprofessional.”
Several Nebraska senators have taken to Twitter to show their support for the ACLU of Nebraska’s call for a special session.
In order for a special session to take place, ten or more members of the Nebraska Legislature must sign a petition and file it with the Secretary of State. From there , the petition must be approved by the Secretary of State and at least two-thirds of the legislature, before it goes to the governor for approval.
“We’ve spent the whole summer protesting, advocating, meeting with these elected officials for theses changes,” Ibrahim said. “We just can’t wait. Now more than ever, we can’t wait.”