Ellen Nash, BAPAC SD Chair
The last few years have brought many challenges for BAPAC SD but we know that, for too long, people in power have conspired to rig the game, forcing Black people to work twice as hard to barely get half as far in America. We are falling further behind in health and wealth, safety and well-being. No More!
Black people must:
Agree on things we want
Mobilize our communities around those things
Vote our agenda
Hold decision makers accountable to our needs and priorities.
Our future can and must be different. Black communities deserve and demand thoughtful, visionary policies and practices that make us powerful in every aspect of our lives. Black people can and will take our power back by:
Confronting those who conspire to steal our votes and building the democracy that is promised to us all.
Challenging the people and practices that leave us sick and dying younger and delivering the care we need to live long and live well.
Rejecting the toxic culture of white nationalism, calling it out at every opportunity and in front of every audience.
Acting on the climate crisis as a national priority before more of our communities are hit first and worst by disasters such as COVID – 1619 (not a typo).
Ending the use of incarceration to solve the problems of migration, poverty, and divestment, and return millions of us to our families and communities.
Toward that end, BAPAC SD spent 2021-22 reinventing our organization. BAPAC SD is now separated into two entities, a 501(c)(4) and a 501(c)(3). This will allow BAPAC SD to expand its civic engagement, lobbying and advocacy efforts, and political endorsement program to further promote BAPAC SD and more importantly, the Black community, as a major stakeholder in SD politics. Additionally, BAPAC SD Foundation, our 501(c)(3), will can raise money and contributions that are tax deductible.
Yes timing is everything. The COVID – 1619 pandemic (not a typo) forced us to sit and watch the knee on the neck that drained the life out of Mr. George Floyd. This and other San Diego incidents led to BAPAC SD’s elevation in the San Diego community. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors, under the leadership of Chair Nathan Fletcher, established the Leon Williams San Diego County Human Relations Commission where I was elected to serve as Chair. This most prestigious appointment elevated BAPAC SD’s reach and status in the COUNTY as a well-respected organization.
Also during COVID it became clear that collaboration and partnership was important for Black organizations to be effective. BAPACSD became part of a group of Black leaders called the Black Leadership Connect comprised of faith leaders, corporate, and community based leaders which resulted in Partnership Accomplishments:
The creation of a San Diego County and City 100-day Black community accountability plan. Including data, research, deliverables and timelines and 100-day plan presentations to Black elected officials and community based organizations.
Creation of a Black Youth Initiative Program, which included governmental and corporate fundraising, employer development, and job placement resulting in the placement of 50 youth with government and corporate summer employment placements and mentorship, job skills, and academic improvement.
BAPAC SD also elevated our voice during candidate forums regarding the need for Black staff to serve in elected offices. We are proud to see most of our elected officials have hired Black staff to serve!!! Other initiatives we have contributed to include:
City and County Boards and Commissions
BAPAC SD assisted in identifying individuals for City and County Boards and Commissions, providing support letters and lending our voice to the importance of appointing Black candidates that care about the community in these roles. We cannot recall the last time in the City and County’s history where so many Black community members were appointed to so many boards.
Police Reform and Justice
The County Board of Supervisors acted on a stronger community based framework to enhance the mobile crises team (MCRT) initiative, which ensures that subject matter expertise and the Black lens is amplified in mental health initiatives.
Mayor Gloria’s Black Community Empowerment Plan
Members of the Black Leadership Connect, including BAPAC SD, attended the Mayor’s announcement of the Plan. In summary, the creation of the Black Leaders Connect group remains in partnership in this important work on behalf of our community, which matters!
BAPAC SD Virtual Forums and Convenings
BAPAC SD remained virtual during 2021 with candidate forums via Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube. We created candidate questionnaires with an emphasis on the plight of Black San Diegans from COVID, homelessness, affordability housing, police reform, immigration, infrastructure, discrimination and racism, climate change, and financial resources. Convenings were held with elected officials on President Biden’s various programs including the Infrastructure Act and how different legislation benefits the Black community.
November 2022 Midterms
We rolled up our sleeves to turn out to vote during the November 2022 midterms. We made history by electing three Black Constitutional officials - Dr. Shirley Weber as Secretary of State, Tony Thurmond as Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Malia Cohen as State Controller! We also had many BAPAC SD members and supporters running for San Diego offices. This election was a historic moment for this country, which results will affect us all for decades to come. So many critical issues are on the line – a women’s right to choose, gun safety, John Lewis Voting Right’s and Social Security. We are the “Margin of Victory.” Our forefathers died and sacrificed their lives for us. Voting matters!
BAPAC SD has a vision for the Black community in San Diego and we need your help! The Board wants to move forward with strategy, excellence and a solid infrastructure so that we can make the impact that we know is possible. If you want to join our BAPAC SD team, become a member or feel free to reach out at (619) 665–3878.
In Warm Regards,
Ellen Nash, Chair
The San Diego Chapter of Black Political Association of California