Is the Social Equity Process Truly Equitable?
By: Social Equity Empowerment Network
S.E.E.N.- The Cannabis Industry's Social Equity Trade Organization Responds to the Awards List
Labor Day celebrates the achievements of American workers. African Americans were known to have participated in the labor movement before the Civil War and have contributed to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
On this day of honoring laborers, S.E.E.N., a trade organization created by nearly 400 social equity applicants, would like to congratulate our true social equity awardees on achieving a momentous achievement with the dispensing licenses. Despite the joy for our social equity members, we do express concern with the amount of conditional awardees in this process. As we all enjoy this Holiday, celebrating the laborers and workers of America, we also stand burdened by the plights of our ancestors and the suffrage they endured building this country without any recognition, economic benefit, or community enhancements. 75 dispensaries going to 21 businesses does not represent equity.
What we would have liked to be S.E.E.N. is the awardees representing more than 3% of what should have been 10% of social equity applicants marginalized by the war on drugs. Yet, we did not. We believe there is an opportunity to do what is right to balance the opportunities within our communities, drive social equity and economic empowerment, and see community enhancements with the areas that have been most impacted by the war on drugs. We are here today, to present a list of demands to State lawmakers and regulators, and ask JB Pritzer, Danielle Perry, and Toi Hutchinson, to the table, so we can discuss what we haven't S.E.E.Nand what we would like to have been S.E.E.N for social equity. What we desire is true transparency, accountability, and change by seeing:
• The State of Illinois award 75 distinct licenses to black and brown people, marginalized by the war on drugs. The Black and Brown communities represent those that have suffered most from incarceration and should represent the Ownership for all licenses.
• Transparency and immediate release of all scoring cards and the rubric used to select all of the top scorers of the dispensary organization licenses and all social equity applications.
• Transparency of ownership and the overall process for winner selection.
We invite all media outlets, political leaders, constituents, voters, and social equity applicants and licensees to join our press conference tomorrow at the Thompson Center to discuss the continued injustices, inequities, and inequalities that have been shown within the scoring process of the adult use licensing application. We're calling all to demand transparency from the State of IL, transparency from KPMG, transparency of ownership and transparency of process. In joining us, we can create an economic sustainable structure in the communities that have labored and suffered in this country. Together we can be S.E.E.N.
Join us for the press conference and stand in solidarity with S.E.E.N at Thompson Center located at 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL, September 7th, 2020 at 10:00am CST. Please note we will observe all social distancing guidelines.
Additional information at www.cannaempower.org
Belicia Royster 312-545-1883 or
Natascha Neptune 773-430-6521