Commitment Statements

Political Effectiveness and Personal Responsibility

We believe representative government works best when there is an informed, engaged and active voting population. Policy makers must be equipped with knowledge of the needs of the communities they purport to serve, and an awareness of the consequences of those policies on the affected citizens. We commit ourselves to be strongly engaged in the political process, identify, research and advocate for issues of concern to African Americans. We commit to mobilize the electorate through registration and education, to eliminate barriers to voting participation, to monitor the records and actions of those elected or seeking election, and to hold them accountable. We commit to invest the appropriate financial resources to ensure equitable representation at all levels of government.

Sponsored by the
NC Conference of Black Mayors

Crime & Justice

We believe all citizens desire an environment that is safe, healthy and free of crime. Too often, African Americans find themselves in circumstances where these conditions are not assured. Safe communities must begin by establishing an environment that does not breed crime – where economic opportunity exists and where the community rewards and supports good behavior. Corresponding to this role of the community is the responsibility of the society to create a justice system that is fair and equitable. To that end, we commit ourselves to diversity of the courts at all levels – particularly the election and appointment of African American judges. We commit ourselves to fairness in enforcement, including officer and leadership diversity and elimination of racial profiling practices. We commit ourselves to ending sentencing disparities, including the death penalty. We commit ourselves to proper response to youth violence and gang initiatives in our schools and our communities. We also commit ourselves to advocate for environmental justice, to ensure that the quality of water and air in communities of color is not contaminate and that we eliminate inequalities in the location of environmentally hazardous facilities and enterprises.

Sponsored by the
NC Legislative Black Caucus Foundation

Education

We believe the promise of America can only be fully realized when all citizens are assured an opportunity to receive a quality education. We believe access to that opportunity begins at birth and includes other opportunity to appropriate daycare, quality elementary and post -secondary education and to technical schools, colleges and universities. We commit ourselves to providing an appropriate climate for learning through investment in quality facilities that are safe, in the education and recruitment of diverse educators and administrators, to rid the classroom of bias, to encourage the full development of the individual and to eliminate disparities in funding based upon student achievement, the wealth of the surrounding communities, or family financial stability. We commit ourselves to the elimination of achievement gaps in all aspects of education.

Sponsored by the
NC Caucus of Black School Board Members

Economic Empowerment

We believe the labor, intellect and skills of African American citizens have been essential to this society, contributing to America’s status as the world’s strongest economy. Our efforts have been rewarded by an appropriate share of the country’s wealth. We therefore commit ourselves in practice and in policy to expanding the wealth of African American citizens by supporting a living wage for all workers, by continuing support of Affirmative Action, by advocating for fair and equitable pay in all jobs. We commit to encourage savings and investment by our community, support entrepreneurship, and ensure openness and participation in contracting process and to fight discriminatory and exploitative practices in lending, to promote awareness of business and wealth-building practice in communities of color, to encourage ownership of residences and businesses and to foster ideas for community improvement and wealth retention.

Sponsored by the
North Carolina Black Elected Municipal Officials

Access to Health Care and Environmental Justice

We believe every American should have access to health care in time of injury or illness. We believe it is a travesty that millions of Americans are without coverage and proper medical care because of lack of personal resources. We commit ourselves to the adoption of universal access to health care for all Americans and for improving the quality of care and availability of healthcare professionals in low wealth communities, especially those communities of color. We also commit ourselves to support funding for research of those illnesses that disproportionately affect African Americans, and to engage and support appropriate funding for educational programs relating to healthy lifestyles, including diet, exercise and abuse of addictive substances.

Sponsored by the
North Carolina Association of Black County Officials