Black Women Organized for Political Action Plans To Utilize its Historical Influence to Incite Political Change in Sacramento!
2017 was deemed the year of black women in politics. It highlighted an increase of black women engaged in politics and brought national attention to the effectiveness of black women within the political realm. However, we have miles to go before we sleep.
The killing of 22-year old Stephon Clark, by the hands of Sacramento law enforcement, in our own city, not only sparked national outcry, it intensified the work of local organizations like BWOPA Sacramento. BWOPA Sacramento understands that everything that affects the quality of life in the black community is in most ways political. Therefore, BWOPA's current charge is to harness the energy within our community to dig deeper into the political process so that we can see systemic changes.
To that end, BWOPA Sacramento is currently refocusing efforts in order to be an active voice to change the face of law enforcement in Sacramento. "It will take our collective effort to elect officials who value justice for black people" said Kula Koenig, BWOPA Sacramento Chapter President. "Until we do this, we all suffer the consequences that result from injustice." This is why our chapter focuses on building political capacity.
In addition to conducting advocacy training, we seek to change the face of law enforcement and usher out elected officials who do not want to get it right for black people. In our recent endorsement process, candidates were interviewed and asked questions based on how they would represent the best interest of our community. For example, candidates were interviewed by a panel of BWOPA members and asked questions specific to the black experience. With a focus on the Sheriff and District Attorney races, we will promote the candidates we endorse and embark on efforts to secure their election in upcoming months. This process is to force our elected officials to have an agenda that focuses on getting it right for black people. We need those who care to vote, walk, phonebank, etc for these candidates. This is our community call to action!
In these endeavors, BWOPA Sacramento also seeks to challenge the male centered narrative around police involved shootings. Black women TOO are victims of police racism. A recent study by researchers at the University of Washington found that nearly 60 percent of black women killed by police were unarmed at the time of the interaction. BWOPA Sacramento believes this alternative narrative must be uplifted and repeated. Black women are at the front lines fighting for our black boys but we cannot forget the violence that is inflicted upon us. WE MATTER. OUR LIVES MATTER.
Join us in this fight! Who are we? After expanding from a smaller group called the Bay Area Women for Dellums, Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) was formed in 1968 by 12 women in the Bay Area of California. In 1970, Dezie Woods-Jones would become BWOPA's first president and it was through her involvement, that BWOPA's political action resulted in the election of the first African American women representatives in their areas. It is from this legacy that we are active today.
BWOPA Sacramento understands that collective impact and allyship is the most powerful weapon in fighting injustice which is why we support the Build.Black. Movement. We need all of our allies on board!