From Anna Eshoo <[email protected]>
Subject Heavy Heart
Date June 10, 2020 8:00 PM
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Dear John,

I write this to you with a heavy heart. We are living through the worst civil unrest since 1968, the worst economic crisis since 1933, and the worst public health crisis since 1918. So much has been laid bare during these challenges — inequities in health care, the mighty struggles of hard-working Americans, and the scars of our history manifested in systemic racism.

The murder of George Floyd pierces the conscience of our nation, as it should, and peaceful demonstrators across our country in cities large and small are calling for a better nation, a nation that truly hears and listens to them to address the inequities that hold us back and wound people deeply.

What to do?

Acknowledge the problems. I’m an original cosponsor of a House Resolution that condemns police brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive force.

And take them head-on:
* Prohibit police from using chokeholds or otherwise applying pressure to the throat;
* Set uniform standards for police departments regarding use of force, civilian review, transparency, due process, body cameras and training;
* Eliminate qualified immunity for police officers;
* Require allegations of police misconduct to be investigated by independent prosecutors;
* Prohibit the transfer of military equipment that is not appropriate for police work, including grenades, armored vehicles and silencers from the military to local police departments;
* Provide grants to states that mandate cultural competence and unconscious bias training for law enforcement.

Dr. King spoke of “the urgency of now”, and we must heed his call in our day and time. Inequities in health care and economic opportunity must also be addressed and will require difficult but necessary consensus. I am not afraid of the days ahead. I believe that we are strong enough and wise enough to reach higher ground than ever before, and with you, I believe we will.

With my unending gratitude,

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