Governor signs Senator Bradford’s “Ebony Alert” legislation to help bring home missing Black youth and Black women
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 28, 2023
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed SB 673, Senator Steven Bradford’s “Ebony Alert” legislation.
California will become the first state to create an alert notification system to address the crisis of missing Black children and young Black women between the ages of 12 and 25.
“Today, California is taking bold and needed action to locate missing Black children and Black women in California. I want to thank the Governor for signing the Ebony Alert into law,” said Bradford. “Our Black children and young women are disproportionately represented on the lists of missing persons. This is heartbreaking and painful for so many families and a public crisis for our entire state. The Ebony Alert can change this.”
According to the Black and Missing Foundation, 38% of children reported missing in the U.S. are Black. The U.S. population is 14% Black. Black children are disproportionately classified as “runaways” in comparison to white children who are classified as “missing.” As a result, many Black children do not receive the Amber Alert or media attention highlighting that they are missing.
Black women and girls are at increased risk of being harmed and trafficked. A recent report on human trafficking incidents across the country found that 40% of sex trafficking victims were identified as Black women.
SB 673 authorizes a law enforcement agency to request that an Ebony Alert be activated by the California Highway Patrol if the investigating agency determines that it would be helpful. Similar to the Amber Alert, the Ebony Alert would activate electronic highway signs to alert the public of the missing person. Additionally, SB 673 also encourages television, cable, online, radio, and social media outlets to cooperate with disseminating the information contained in an Ebony Alert.
“The Ebony Alert will ensure that vital resources and attention are given so we can bring home missing Black children and women in the same way we search for any missing child and missing person,” said Bradford.
The Ebony Alert legislation is sponsored by the NAACP California Hawaii State Conference.
“Today’s bill signing represents a historic breakthrough, guaranteeing that Black children and young Black women will receive the attention and protection they need when they are reported missing,” said NAACP California Hawaii State Conference President Rick L. Callender. “This is a great first step to mitigating the racial inequities when it comes to Black women and children when they go missing.”
With the Governor’s signature, the Ebony Alert will become law on January 1, 2024.
Senator Bradford is Vice Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications, and represents the Los Angeles County communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, San Pedro, Torrance, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington.