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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.

2021 Legislative Agenda

  • Repealing the Law Enforcement Officer Bill of Rights (LEOBR)Protections that exist for law enforcement impede the ability for the community to have a role in investigating police misconduct and discipline. Only sworn law enforcement can participate in dispensing discipline and conduct investigations of misconduct. We advocate for a full repeal of the LEOBR.
  • Changing the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) – Records of internal affairs investigations of police officers should be subject to the category of the Public Information Act that makes these records discretionary disclosures. In other words, we want to have access to all of the investigatory records on police officers so that we can more effectively root out corruption.
  • Taxing recreational cannabis with a reparations focus – With the political inevitability of marijuana legalization, a substantial percentage of the tax revenues should be directed into the community most directly impacted by the war on drugs.
  • Commission on History, Culture and Civics in Education – Develop a legislative task force that will look at the K-12 curriculum in Maryland to make recommendations about how to address racism and oppression in the Maryland education system.The task force will also look at how to incorporate anti-colonial education, and civics education in order to develop more civically engaged students.

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