As politician after politician rushes to express outrage over the murder of George Floyd, so far as we can tell only one — former President Barack Obama — has told the whole truth.

That truth is that nothing will change until and unless state and local elected officials are liberated from dependence upon and fear of public safety unions.

We could expose the hypocritical political history of many a California politician who’s now tweeting outrage but historically has done the bidding of public safety unions. But it would be more productive if you just read Mr. Obama’s toolkit and then got to work.

Protests are a start but they will change nothing unless you also provide persistent support to elected officials who make changes to laws and contracts. Those officials cannot do it alone. That’s why we do what we do for state legislators. As we told them earlier this week, our job is to help them walk their talk. Others need to do the same for local officials.

Also, stop blaming everyone else, including public safety unions. Their job is to protect their membership. Your job is to protect elected officials who do the right thing. Unions have First Amendment rights. So do you.

A year from now each of us should ask ourselves what we have done to actually move this needle.

Govern For California supports lawmakers who legislate in the general interest.

Written by

Lecturer at Stanford University and president of Govern For California

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