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The Voice of the Black Community

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African American lawmakers launch 'Marshall Plan for Black America'
Bill would address economic, social inequities
 
Published Sunday, May 13, 2018 8:39 pm
by Herbert L. White

Black lawmakers want Congress to do more to address economic and social inequities.


The Congressional Black Caucus last week introduced the Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, a 1,300-page omnibus legislation to increase economic mobility of African Americans and ensure equal protection under the law. In addition to including bills introduced by individual CBC members, the legislation also includes the National Urban League’s Main Street Marshall Plan.


“President Trump and the Republican Party he leads would have you believe that our community is doing well because African-American unemployment is at a historic low, which is the result of policies and programs implemented by the Obama Administration,” CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana Democrat, said in a statement.


“But the African-American unemployment rate is not a good barometer of our community’s success. When African Americans were slaves and sharecroppers, African-American unemployment was 0 percent. But I don’t think anyone would say that our community was doing well then. As a result of racism and discrimination in our country, African Americans still face a number of economic and social barriers that the federal government can and should help our community address since it was and still is complicit in building them. Although we have come a long way, we still have a long way to go, and the Jobs and Justice Act of 2018 will help us get there.”


In the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump challenged black voters to support him to solve issues impacting African Americans with a question: “What do you have to lose?”

When CBC members met with Trump in March 2017, they presented a 130-page policy document laying out a federal response to improve jobs and justice, but the administration has yet to respond. Black unemployment is at the lowest levels in recorded history – which Trump has pointed out – although it is still twice the rate for white Americans. The national unemployment rate is 3.9 percent.

The CBC bill calls for the federal investment of $100 billion in public schools for physical and digital infrastructure improvements, additional resources to communities with a history of high poverty and tax incentives for companies that hire young people, veterans, and the unemployed. Other highlights include:

• Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

• Boosting college Pell Grant funding.

• Emergency relief to address homelessness and increases access to mortgage financing.

• Modernization of the HBCU Capital Financing Program,  championed by U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, a Charlotte Democrat and co-chair of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus.

• Eliminating mandatory minimums for federal drug offenses.

• Banning the box for ex-offenders on job applications.

• Abolition of the federal death penalty.  

• Decriminalizes marijuana and establishes a reinvestment fund for communities negatively impacted by the federal war on drugs.

• Restoration of the Voting Rights Act, whose provisions have been gutted in recent years by the Republican-majority Congress.

• Allows federal research on the intersection of gun violence and mental health.

“Since its founding, the Congressional Black Caucus has been the conscience of the Congress when it comes to ending economic disparities and making access to opportunity equal for all,” said Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

“The Jobs and Justice Act …is an answer to the disdain Donald Trump and his Administration have shown for African-American communities and others who have faced generations of discrimination and denial of equal opportunities.  It includes many Democratic priorities, including raising the minimum wage, investing billions in public education, helping create startup incubators, and engaging in criminal justice reforms to help those who have paid their debt return to society as contributors.”
 

Comments

Every American, regardless of ethnicity, who actually cares about expanding opportunities should back this.
Posted on May 14, 2018
 
I am more then happy to pass this on to my fellow Neighbors and Activist in my City We need people to know whats on the line everyday and be aware of this kind of information
Posted on May 13, 2018
 

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