CFA to Trustees: Take action for racial justice

CFA leaders and activists will urge CSU Trustees to support legislation updating police use of force protocols in California and reject a proposal to declare impaction at Cal State Los Angeles during the Board of Trustees meeting next week.

AB 392, a bill authored by Assemblymembers Shirley Weber and Kevin McCarty, would revise police use of force protocols to ensure officers avoid the use of deadly force at every possible opportunity. The bill has gained support in recent weeks following an announcement by the Sacramento County District Attorney that charges would not be filled in the murder of Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old unarmed Black man.

CFA and the ACLU are co-sponsoring the bill, and faculty will ask Trustees to support AB 392 as it moves through the Legislature.

“Safety is an important issue for students, staff and faculty.” said Cecil Canton, CFA Associate Vice President for Affirmative Action, North. “Our campuses exist in the communities in which we live, so what happens in one affects us in both.”

“Police derive their power and authority from the community and public they serve, so they (the police) must be held accountable to that community. The standards that prescribe police actions and behavior in the use of force must be reviewed and updated from time to time to reflect changing attitudes and values. This is especially important when they haven’t been significantly changed since the 19th century. AB 392 is a very serious effort to do just that and we believe that it is time for the CSU Trustees to join us in the fight to make our state, our communities and our campuses safer and racially just.”

CFA activists also will urge Trustees to reject Cal State LA President William Covino’s proposal to declare impaction at the campus, which would disproportionately impact prospective students from the surrounding area, who are increasingly students of color and the first in the families to go to college.

“This is an austerity move that would take our campus in the wrong direction, and goes against what the People’s University stands for,” said Molly Talcott, CFA Chapter President at Cal State LA. “Gov. Newsom is proposing a record-setting budget increase for the CSU this year—cutting out potential students right now would send the wrong message to lawmakers.”

CFA also will be at the meeting in support of Charmaine Lawson, mother of David Josiah Lawson, and others calling for Justice for Josiah. It has been nearly two years since David Josiah Lawson, a sophomore at Humboldt State University, was killed at a party near campus.

CSU Trustees are scheduled to discuss new campus presidents and their pay, early results of elimination of remedial math and English courses on student outcomes, and proposed changes to the CalGrant program during the meeting Tuesday and Wednesday, March 19 and 20. Click here to read the agenda.

The meeting technically begins on Monday, March 18 with closed sessions on executive personnel. Open sessions begin at 10 am Tuesday.

You can watch the meeting live via livestream here.