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Cooper Hefner Statement on the Strike for Black Lives

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“Today, tens of thousands of workers are taking to the street to protest systemic racism and police violence. I stand with those using their voices to call for an end to the discrimination and brutality towards BIPOC. The action of these workers seeks to change the practices of some of the largest companies in America that contribute to racism and police brutality. The provision of advanced surveillance systems and data to police departments and federal law enforcement have frequently been abused to target BIPOC. Companies need to do more than proclaim “Black Lives Matter” if they are genuinely committed to the ideas behind the movement. I will push for safeguards that prevent California law enforcement from acquiring these systems and using them to harm communities. I have previously called for reallocating policing funds and distributing resources to meet necessary and often neglected social needs. This must be a component of that mission. 

At an even more fundamental level, the low wages and lack of labor protections are part of the system of racism that the strikers seek to change. It is disproportionately BIPOC who work long hours and do multiple gig jobs while still struggling to get by. I believe in fair pay that allows families to live without concern for where their next meal will come from and whether they can keep a roof over their head. I believe that everyone should have access to world class healthcare without any concern of financial ruin. Companies should listen and act on the call of their workers to drive to this destination, both because it is right and because it will ensure California and the country has a workforce that can lead the world as a positive example.”