Bill would expand racial justice stats collection and create racial justice advisory panel

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday took testimony on a bill that would increase racial justice-themed data collection of government institutions and create a corresponding advisory panel to guide government policy.

Regarding H.317,  an act relating to establishing the Bureau of Racial Justice Statistics and the Bureau of Racial Justice Statistics Advisory Panel, Abigail Crocker, a professor for the National Center on Restorative Justice, testified that racial disparities are persistent in Vermont.

“Another way to consider approaching it is to say we’re creating this entity — this data collection, data analysis, partnership, that we want to add to over time — but embed the scope of it with the primary aim of addressing racial disparities, because that means racial disparities are truly embedded in everything we do.”

Crocker said she wants to see this data collected to guide new policies in addressing the alleged systematic racism.

Wikimedia Commons/Beatrice Murch

RACISM EVERYWHERE?: The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday took testimony on a bill that would direct taxpayer resources towards racial justice-themed data collection and an advisory panel on racial justice issues.

“With true data-driven change, what that means is we can use data to truly understand the scope of issues, identify and target interventions to address them, and then measure the outcomes,” she said.

H.317 calls for about a dozen data categories for juveniles and adults. For example, section 6 calls for “data regarding sanctions and disciplinary actions against juvenile justice system participants, including law enforcement officers, prosecutors, defense counsel, judges, and Department of Corrections (DOC) and DCF officers.”

Committee members indicated they are interested, but it’s not clear the proposed legislation will become law during this legislative session.

Rep. Martin LaLonde, D-South Burlington, one of the lead sponsors, suggested the next action might be getting more meetings of the key players “to work this out over the off-session and come back with an implementation plan.”

During the meeting, LaLonde asked Crocker what authority these new data researchers may have over the institutions they review.

“Is that the kind of authority that can be placed in an entity such as UVM?” LaLonde asked. ” … The authority to get this data from the courts, from the state’s attorneys, from the administration, is that even something that is done, or that is possible?”

Crocker answered, “[There’s] like sort of the power to do it. … I think you need the authority to get someone who mandates that it happens. And ‘mandate’ is a strong word because I think it’s a balance between mandate and collaboration.”

Xusana Davis, executive director of racial equity and the chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Racial Equality, is largely expected to play a role in data collection efforts. She also spoke to the committee.

“When it comes to the independence of this kind of work, you all have heard me say in other contexts that, personally, I think any office that serves as a watchdog for government would probably be better to be independent,” she said.

Vermont Chief Superior Judge Brian Grearson said he wonders what information can legally be made available.

“A lot of that type of information specifically is governed by other rules, procedures and statutes,” he said, adding that courts tend to deal in confidential information.

Karen Gennette, executive director for the Crime Research Group, supports the increased collection of data, including outside the criminal justice system.

“I would suggest that we raise this bigger than what’s being suggested in this bill,” she said. ” … This is a really important issue across state government, and as I listen to people of color testify and talk in other venues, looking across systems and not just in the criminal justice system is something that becomes very important.”

Vermont Assistant Attorney General David Scherr spoke in strong support of the measure, noting that his office “helped draft the report that ultimately resulted in this bill.”

Some lawmakers shared contrasting views on how to progress.

Rep. Kevin “Coach” Christie, D-Hartford, questioned if new government entities would be necessary. “There might be a pathway without a lot of reinvention,” he said.

LaLonde said he sees a potential need for a new independent entity to do this work.

“Maybe we really do need to look to a quasi-independent agency that would also be able to balance that need for authority to get reluctant agencies to actually work with them,” he said.

The video of the Wednesday hearing can be viewed here.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Beatrice Murch

20 thoughts on “Bill would expand racial justice stats collection and create racial justice advisory panel

  1. This is a particularly evil bill. This is the beginning of racism and mass oppression of the American people. It is so idiotic it defies any logic.

    By definition an average is made from figures that are not the average. The average in a way is fictitious.

    When you say people have an average income of 32k, that means some make 20k and some make 40k.

    Are we going to make custody of children 50% men and 50% women?
    Are we going to import teachers to bring in the national average of diversity so we have more Hispanic and Chinese and African American in our school system, firing all the whites?
    Same for state workers?
    The state should be the very first to implement this. Also doctors? Electricians? Every thing?

    Vermont might be dumb enough to try this

  2. The People’s Cube turns 16: let’s anti- celebrate!
    Red Square
    4/1/2021, 2:46 am
    “The toiling masses of workers and peasants have been swept aside and labeled as fascists, racists, and homophobes. They’ve become too comfortable with capitalism, clinging to their guns, religion, families, private property, and the Constitution. Instead, a new coalition of minorities has been created, indoctrinated into victimhood, and labeled as the new revolutionary classes. They are now the New Proletariat, which qualifies them as the elites. The Oppressed Elites.”

      • The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by precedent, by implication, by erosion, by default, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until the day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology. ~ Ayn Rand

      • An open letter to America
        Karl Marx Treatment Center
        7/3/2020, 1:45 pm
        Dear America,

        The Left are doing everything they can to dismantle the institution of law enforcement nationwide and do away with police.

        This is not because the Left is against police. The Left is against the rule of law. And I’ll tell you as has been amply demonstrated, without the rule of law and your police to enforce it, no-one’s life is worth a plugged nickel.

        The communists trying to grab the power and rule over you are not against police in principle. They have a police force to replace the abolished one.

          • ^
            ©* 1917 – 2100 Politburo and Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party, Ministry of Truth, Comrades of Armed Organs, Young Pioneer Organizations, Komsomol, Society for Sport and Technology, Society for Advancement of Secondary Sexual Characteristics, People’s Political Humor & Satire Nyet Collective, and other groups and collectives of our great Socialist Amerikan Motherland. * People’s Property notification (known as copyright in the degraded non-socialist economic region of dying capitalism) ~ Red Square, People’s Director, Department of Unanimity and Visual Agitation [FAQ]

      • Pretty crazy stuff, and that’s saying a lot for church street!

        In the heart of our largest city beats a communist heart. Clearly our populace has no education, otherwise this disease of the mind would have never taken hold.

        Good get..

  3. The traditional Marxist ploy of class struggle between the Bourgeoisie (upper middle class property owners) and the so-called working-class Proletariat (those laborers without personal property) has been proven obsolete by the success of free markets. After all, private property is now ubiquitous to all classes. For the Marxist philosophy to continue, then, the class struggle had to be redefined and replaced by biological divisiveness – between races as promoted by the Marxist BLM organization and Critical Race Theory.

    Marxist and CRT advocates, educated people for the most part, embody the low self-esteem so crucial to their hateful, grim and pessimistic narrative. They are frightened by the complexities our advanced individual free market governance has created – despite the benefits to all classes of people. Most of these folks do not yet understand the intrinsic nature and value of free markets, and they don’t want to divulge their ignorance as a sign of weakness. They simply don’t understand how everything works. Enlightenment and social change, to them, are an evil curse. And as our society expands exponentially faster in creating ‘disruptive’ knowledge and technological advancements, their fears increase exponentially too.

    Today, these Marxists perceive their backs to be against the wall. The race-card is all that remains of their narrative. But sooner or later, as we watch some of the wealthiest folks in the world, people like the Obamas, Opra Winfrey, Megan Markle, Lebron James, and even BLM’s Marxist co-founder, Patrisse Khan-Cullors (who just last month purchased a $1.4 million home near Malibu), complain about systemic racism and the inability of minorities to fend for themselves, to simply get a photo ID and vote, their false dichotomy becomes more and more apparent to everyone.

    As C. S. Lewis opined:
    “This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

    Those of us who understand this must be careful to not over-react to the Marxist’s fearful fits of rage. Let their logic play out. Stay out of its way as best you can. It will pass.

    As Fredrich Nietzsche said:
    “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

  4. Just wondering if this is part of the problem and why it seems to be avoided by those crying racism.

    Maybe it’s systemic avoidance of common sense and self responsibility…

    By then again.. it’s always someone else’s fault!

    If we are going to get to the source of the problem we have to investigate everything that could be a contributing factor.

  5. If we are going to consider racial justice we need to look at crimes perpetrated by people of color against whites as well.

    We need factual statistics as to who is bringing drugs into our state and by what methods.

    We need to know who are selling drugs in our state and who distributes them to be sold.

    We need to know the ethnicities of these people and their ages.

    We need to know the times of these crimes.

    There is more to this dilemma than calling everyone a racist for not supporting those that violate common sense and self responsibility and the rule of law not only in Vermont but across America.

    This was posted elsewhere but exposes the real problem…the truth does not fit the agenda!

    The damage being done to people of color by that don’t agree with this propaganda is astronomical…They are afraid to speak out for fear of attack by those pushing this.

    This is the post:

    Example of why the country is a total mess…

    New bodycam footage taken at night reveals a white Chicago police officer chasing a 13-year old Latino male who allegedly had a gun. A Fox News guest familiar with the incident claims the teen was recruited by a local gang called the Latin Kings. Reportedly, Adam Toledo, 13, was instructed to shoot at random cars as they pass by. The bodycam shows the police officer chasing Toledo down a alley and telling him to stop repeatedly. The officer screams, “stop right f—— now.” Toledo then stops for a moment before he turns toward the officer, at which point the cop tells him to, “Show me your f—— hand.” As Toledo’s hands move upward, the officer shoots and kills Toledo.

    Footage from a surveillance camera provides a different perspective of the police chase, with Toledo appearing to reach behind the fence after he stops. The footage later shows a gun on the ground alongside the fence, feet from where Toledo was shot.

    The lawyer for the 13-year-old claims Toledo is a victim. The lawyer referenced the shooting as the assassination of a child.

    Protesters are claiming the cop was in the wrong and it’s all about color. According to the NY Times, one of the protestors told the outlets, “He did all the right things. He put his hands up, and he still got shot.”

    Here’s one problem: Nowhere in the NY Times article does it state information about the gun at the fence, or the Latin Kings, or Toledo’s alleged actions of shooting at innocent drivers, or that the cop chasing Toledo had told him to stop multiple times. Even worse, I defy you to find the story on under the big stories section. As I write this post Saturday morning, there is no mention of this shooting on within the top stories. In my opinion it’s because it doesn’t fit the narrative of “bad white cop who kills black man.”

    But most disturbing, and why this country is a ticking time bomb, are the questions that follow:

    (1) Why isn’t the media focusing on gang violence in America?
    (2) Latin Kings recruits a lot of illegal aliens, so is Toledo an illegal alien?
    (3) Why isn’t the media focusing on the dangers of 13-year-olds having guns and running from police?
    (4) At 13, Toledo didn’t buy his gun legally, and so how do Democrats justify new radical gun legislation that includes background checks? How do those bills stop Toledo?
    (3) Where’s the report on how innocent drivers are being shot at by minorities in Chicago? Do drivers lives not matter?
    (4) Where’s the media questioning Toledo’s parents?

    My reasonable questions can go on forever, but I will stop because we don’t have rationale people in power to give answers. At this point, Democrats, the media, radical riot organizers, and ambulance chasing lawyers are incapable of thinking, speaking, or reporting reasonably.

    The story of Toledo and the cop should read like this: “Hero cop saves the possible deaths of innocent drivers by taking down gang member.” But you won’t find that title and article anywhere. Instead, the cop is the bad guy and the 13-year-old is the victim.

    It doesn’t take a whole lot to understand why our country is a mess.

  6. H.317 calls for creating a bureaucratic sledgehammer to deal with a suspected problem.

    What is it going to cost to simply establish this data gathering infrastructure? What’s is going to cost to operate the new bureaucracy on an annual basis going forward? How is it going to be paid for? What is the actual magnitude of the problem and does it justify the size and cost of the solution proposed in H.317?

    Has anyone given any thought to these questions?

  7. It’s pretty interesting that some people promote racism and other people completely move on with their life and succeed

    It’s proven through the BLM movement that racism is a money maker.

    It’s ironic with the amount of money being made through the BLM movement nothing is being shared with the black community.

    Surprising? I don’t think so.

    It’s sad that blacks use blacks to raise money for their own wealth.

    Someday black people in America will wake up and realize those claiming to be helping them are actually the ones destroying them.

    • Richard,

      This goes all the way back to Africa where the original sin of black slavery was and still is being committed. What a horrid evil! To enslave your own people and sell them off to slave traders to be shipped all over the world. How evil a soul must be to do that!

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