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Systemic solutions for systemic issues

LBS’ approach to policy advocacy is based on the community and political organizing methodologies embodied in the works of Malcolm X and Ella Baker.

Our political advocacy is based on the cultivation of deep relationships to many segments of the Black community and to use the support that this provides us as our primary leverage to advocate policy positions that are in the interest of Black people. Our ability impact policy is based on the years of community organizing and community service that has translated to a base of support that authentically represents the depth and diversity of the Black community in Baltimore.

We also tap into the rich cultural and intellectual resources that reside in our community to form the basis of our intellectual and political analysis. Our fidelity to the Black Radical Tradition and a worldview rooted in Pan Africanism guides the intellectual production that guides our approach to our political advocacy.

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Guiding Principles

Independent Liberation

We are not controlled or housed by any mainstream institution. We will never allow ourselves to become puppets for a political establishment or pawns for philanthropists. We are unapologetic in our public policy demands aimed to improve the conditions of Black people.

Building Black Power

We believe that Black people have and are the solutions to the oppressive conditions our communities face.  We have strong ties with many Black professionals and businesses.  We direct resources to many Black youth and organizers.  We support the work of many Black-led service organizations and causes that center a multitude of Black identities.

Communal & Cellular

Our deep love and desire to empower Black people prompts us to operate in a cellular and communal fashion.  We embrace all the diversity of African-descended people and reject charismatic and messianic leadership caricatures.

Results-Based Accountability

We have a sincere commitment to achieving measurable results for marginalized communities. All of our policy efforts are purposed to transform structural arrangements that impede the quality of life of aggrieved communities.

2020 Legislative Agenda

  • Taxing Medical Cannabis: We’ll be advocating that MD create a fund that will prepare small and people-of-color led businesses for recreational marijuana businesses that will come online when recreational marijuana is legalized in MD. This legislation will be framed in the context of building capacity and infrastructure for Black business to get ready to participate in the marijuana industry. Additionally this legislation will be framed to as an attempt to create more opportunities for people in the community that in some cases resort to the illicit economy for financial opportunity.
  • Culturally Responsive Pedagogy/Racial Equity bill: Developing a requirement that all education professions should be required to engage in culturally responsive pedagogy/racial equity training. Additionally, community school partners would be required to demonstrate their expertise in cultural responsive pedagogy/racial equity.
  • Comprehensive police reform bill: This bill will focus on expanding the ability of outside entities to investigate the conduct of police officers and the practices of police departments in order to bring greater levels of transparency to law enforcement.

Past Legislative Victories

By Year

2019

*WILL BE POSTED*

2018

  • Protected the Court of Appeals Rule Change of Maryland’s Pre-Trial (bail) system from 2017 that instructs judges to prioritize non-financial conditions for release for people pre-trial.
  • Weakened the majority of legislation that uses incarceration and tougher penalties as a means to address crime and violence and support legislation that would invest in community based anti-violence programs.

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

  • Launched targeted and public criticism of the prison and non-profit industrial complexes

Media