Black Jewish Justice Alliance
LOS ANGELES AREA
CLUE has rebuilt the historic coalition between African-American and Jewish leadership, partnering with other advocacy groups such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles (SCLC), Dignity and Power Now, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, and the Youth Justice Coalition, to name a few, to ensure that Blacks and Jews are in the heart of the struggle for economic and racial justice in Los Angeles and throughout California. CLUE is uniquely positioned, with its current leadership and large network, to ensure success. By convening Jewish and African-American community stakeholders to end gun violence, create substantive oversight of law enforcement, confront mass incarceration, advocate for good jobs (including re-entry opportunities), and a host of other justice issues, CLUE’s Black/Jewish Justice Alliance (BJJA) has already helped create a more equitable Los Angeles.
Since its establishment in 2014, the BJJA won the establishment of a LA Sheriff’s Department Civilian Oversight Commission, securing over 50 rabbinical signatures on a letter to the LA County Board of Supervisors demanding they do so. BJJA’s meeting with Inspector General Max Huntsman seems to have influenced him to support subpoena power and to demand transparency. The process of establishing a truly “civilian” and “oversight” entity continues, and BJJA is in the heart of that struggle.
The Black/Jewish Justice Alliance will continue to partner with the ACLU and other organizations to demand greater transparency with law enforcement. SB 1286 (Leno), which will open up police records to greater scrutiny when there is a police-involved shooting and will enable California local oversight entities to gain access, made it out of Committee in April, 2016 in large part due to testimony provided by the BJJA (at the urging of the ACLU of Southern California). In November of 2016, BJJA member Rabbi Heather Miller was appointed to the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commission.
The Black/Jewish Justice Alliance is a faith-rooted group that will fight for economic opportunity and for racial justice, wherever the struggle will take us. This includes cutting edge issues such as the technology of body cameras, the fight for strong public sector jobs, anti-discrimination language in the private sector, just workforce development, local hiring provisions, and more. We are proud to focus on the work rather than intergroup politics; we believe that while we have plenty of differences, those should not dictate our partnerships.