We at RPLG are deeply troubled by the tragic murder of George Floyd and the unrest it has sparked in communities and local governments in California. Our hearts go out to Mr. Floyd’s family, Minneapolis, and communities in California and across the country who are grieving.
Civil Rights leader Julian Bond once said: “America is race. From its symbolism to its substance, from its founding by slave holders to its rending by the Civil War … from Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin and to Michael Brown,” and now to George Floyd. We believe that America also transcends race as a place that has historically welcomed everyone regardless of race, national origin, religion or ability.
History teaches that turbulent times and periods of dark chaos in this country lead to momentous change, and that there are many signs of hope in this particular season of necessary unrest. These signs of hope include: the leadership of local governments and elected officials who step up and speak out, peaceful protesters across the spectrum of race, class, and gender walking together, local leaders and citizens helping each other during the pandemic, showing us all what can be done when inequality is laid bare.
This firm’s goal is to help local government serve all of its communities better, recognizing that many of those communities are more hard-hit than others because of race and class. Our lawyers have been on the forefront of helping local governments implement meaningful reforms and bring about change to better serve all citizens. Our mission statement expressly includes our objective to advocate for social justice, and there are many of us deeply involved in and committed to community causes. For just one example, we support and participate on the board of Friends of the Children—SF Bay Area, a nonprofit organization which provides long-term educational, social, and emotional support to San Francisco children who live in our most underserved communities and face the biggest challenges. Consider becoming involved!
We implore the legal community to acknowledge and do its part to eradicate the persistent racism in our society against African Americans that resulted in George Floyd’s violent death and others before him. This includes being aware of our own prejudices and biases as we do our work and offering pro bono legal services to those who cannot afford such representation.
We cannot stand silent during this tumultuous time. We do not acquiesce in the face of inequality, ongoing racism and the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow that George Floyd’s death represents. So, we are compelled to make this statement against those forces that divide our country and pit us against each other, rather than encouraging us to work together to protect all citizens regardless of race, color, religion, or socioeconomic status.
We hope everyone remains safe, healthy and that we stand together and make our voices heard in this unsettling time.