Statement of Chair Zack Wasserman in response to the death of George Floyd

I write this as the Chair of BCDC.  I write this as a lawyer who has lived in Oakland and has worked in and for Oakland, including the far reaches of West and East Oakland for more than 45 years.  I write this as a white man who can barely imagine the feelings and fear felt by black men and women on the streets of America.  I know every public institution in our country has helped the status quo which has rarely helped and more often harmed people of color and vulnerable communities.  Last fall, BCDC adopted an amendment to our Bay Plan to address social equity and environmental justice.  This amendment is late and is just a start, but it and the efforts we are aggressively undertaking to make it real, are an indicator that we are serious about making change.  The tragic deaths of the last few weeks - following so many similar deaths over too many years – have I believe started a change in truly addressing institutional racism.  I think and hope we  are passing a tipping point.  I and BCDC are committed to a concerted effort with other state agencies led by the Newsom Administration to disrupt systematic racism.  I welcome your comments, criticism and help in this effort.