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Biden's Plan For Black People Revealed

From Joe Biden's Medium page:

Among the greatest honors of my life was a trip I took to Memphis in October of 2018 to visit the National Civil Rights Museum and receive the institution’s annual Freedom Award. While I was there, I had a chance to stand on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated half a century earlier, and reflect on all of the progress we’d made — and that which we hadn’t — in the years since that unbearable day. The motel balcony leads back into Dr. King’s room — a room preserved just as it was on the night he was taken from us. The bed is unmade. Coffee cups are scattered on the table. There is a restless spirit in that room — of a dream deferred; of unfinished business. The night before Dr. King was assassinated, he stood at the pulpit at Mason Temple and delivered what turned out to be his final sermon — a call to support sanitation workers who were striking for better pay. He commanded the congregation: “Let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be.” Fifty-two years later, his charge remains as vital as it was that night. We have made extraordinary strides along so many fronts — but for African American families, we have not yet made America what it ought to be. The truth is, African Americans can never have a fair shot at the American Dream so long as entrenched disparities are still allowed to chip away at opportunity. You don’t have an equal chance when your schools are substandard, when your home is undervalued, when your car insurance costs more for no good reason, or when the poverty rate for African Americans is more than twice what it is for whites. I believe that the moral obligation of our time is to rebuild our economy in a way that finally brings everyone along. That goal has always been the core of my candidacy — it’s the very reason that I am running for President. And achieving it starts by rooting out systemic racism from our laws, our policies, our institutions, and our hearts. This mission is more urgent now than ever before, as the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 have exposed — and cruelly exacerbated — the disparities long faced by African Americans. In April, I called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to collect more data that would shed light on how COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting communities, including breaking down its impacts by race. The data we’ve seen so far suggests that African Americans are dying from COVID-19 at a far higher rate than whites. African Americans represent an especially high percentage of the front-line workers putting themselves at greater risk to sustain the economy and keep the rest of the country safe and fed — and are less likely to have a job they can do from home, forcing them to make the difficult choice between their health and a paycheck. Long-standing systemic inequalities may also be contributing to this disparity — including the fact that African Americans are more likely to be uninsured. While there’s a lot we don’t yet know about COVID-19, we do know that equitable distribution of resources — like testing and medical equipment — can make a difference in fighting the virus. We must make that a priority and take action now. The virus is also having a disproportionate economic impact on African American families. African American small businesses have been hit hard, and over 90% of African American-owned businesses are estimated to be shut out of the initial relief program due to preexisting, systemic disparities in lending. This is especially dire given that African American families have less of a financial cushion to fall back on in hard times. Since the onset of this crisis, I have been calling for the nation’s relief and recovery efforts to be equitable and just, including by designing relief programs in ways that steer clear of methods we know lead to disparate outcomes — so that funds can actually reach African American families, communities, and small businesses. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has failed to listen or act. If I were President today, I would make it a top priority to ensure that African American workers, families, and small businesses got the relief they need and deserve. This is not a new priority for me — tackling systemic racism and fighting for civil rights is what brought me to public service as a local councilman in the years just after Dr. King’s death, and it has been a driving force throughout my career ever since. I was proud to fight against discriminatory school district funding and housing practices in my own community as a young man — and prouder still of the work I did in the U.S. Senate, co-sponsoring the Civil Rights Act of 1990 to protect against employment discrimination, leading efforts to reauthorize and extend the Fair Housing Act, and spearheading multiple reauthorizations of the Voting Rights Act to protect African Americans’ right to vote. This moment demands an overwhelming moral response. We need a comprehensive agenda for African Americans — a plan with the ambition to match the scale of the challenge, and one that recognizes that race-neutral policies are not a sufficient response to race-based disparities. Today, I’m releasing a new plan to achieve equity for the African American community and take us one step closer to making America what it ought to be. The six pillars of my plan are as follows:

  • Advance the economic mobility of African Americans and close the racial wealth and income gap by investing in African American workers, businesses, and communities, and expanding African American homeownership and wealth building;

  • Expand access to high-quality education and tackle racial inequity in our education system by investing in universal preschool, closing funding gaps by race, making college affordable, and tackling the student debt crisis;

  • End health disparities by making far-reaching investments, expanding access to affordable health care, improving the quality of care African Americans receive, and making health equity a reality for African Americans;

  • Strengthen America’s commitment to justice by ending incarceration for drug use alone, reducing the number of people incarcerated, reinvesting those savings in communities affected by mass incarceration, and addressing systemic misconduct in police departments and prosecutors’ offices;

  • Make the right to vote and the right to equal protection real for African Americans by dramatically expanding the Department of Justice’s ability to fight voter suppression and gerrymandering, bringing the full force of the federal government’s authority to confront voter disinformation efforts targeting African Americans, and appointing a federal judiciary that looks like America;

  • Address environmental justice by making historic investments, enforcing environmental justice legislation, and ensuring that African Americans are dealt in on the country’s clean energy future.

This plan will tackle some of the most stubborn and pervasive issues — including those that often go unnoticed — that hold back African Americans from receiving an equal shot. African American entrepreneurs seeking capital are rejected at a rate nearly 20 percent higher than white entrepreneurs, and receive far less support when they do get funding. We’re going to fix that by doubling the State Small Business Credit Initiative, doubling funding for a program that supports mission-driven lenders in low-income communities, expanding the New Markets Tax Credit to draw tens of billions of dollars to invest in communities that need it, and shoring up the Small Business Administration’s budget and expanding the agency’s programs that have proven most effective at helping African American-owned businesses get off the ground. The first installment of the Paycheck Protection Program created in response to COVID-19 largely left out minority-owned businesses. We’re going to fix that by providing entrepreneurs with technical assistance and legal and accounting support to ensure that they can apply for funding, producing a weekly dashboard to track exactly which businesses are receiving economic relief, and reserving half of all new relief funds for small businesses with 50 or fewer employees — a category that includes 98 percent of all minority- and women-owned businesses. The gap between African American and white homeownership is larger today than it was when the Fair Housing Act was first passed in 1968 — a key contributor to the unacceptable racial wealth gap that persists between American households. We’re going to fix that by investing $640 billion over ten years to ensure that every American has access to housing that is affordable and accessible, stable and safe, energy-efficient, and located near good schools. We’ll create a tax credit of up to $15,000 for first-time homebuyers available at the moment they make their purchase, establish a new homeowners’ and renters’ bill of rights to bar deceptive and discriminatory practices and bring more accountability and oversight to mortgage brokers and landlords, end discrimination in credit reporting by creating a new public credit reporting agency to catch and eliminate racial disparities, and establish national standards for housing appraisals to put an end to the undervaluing of homes in African American neighborhoods. The typical African American family holds about one-tenth the wealth of a typical white family — and the disparity has grown worse, not better, over the last fifty years. We’re going to fix that by implementing Congressman Jim Clyburn’s “10–20–30” Plan to ensure that federal programs are reaching persistently impoverished communities, and targeting new green infrastructure projects — and the good-paying jobs that come with them — to historically marginalized neighborhoods. In conjunction with that work, we’ll expand on the Obama-Biden Administration’s efforts to increase federal and state contracting opportunities for African American-owned businesses — including by increasing funds for the Minority Business Development Agency and expanding the work of its landmark Federal Procurement Center. We’ll also close the digital divide by investing $20 billion in broadband infrastructure to reach underserved communities and passing the Digital Equity Act. And we’ll make it easier for African Americans to retire with dignity by revamping employer retirement plans and putting them within reach of far more workers — and by making Social Security benefits more generous and equitable. For too long, African Americans have not been adequately dealt into the middle class. We’re going to fix that by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act and ending unequal pay, getting our essential workers the pay, protections, and dignity they deserve, strengthening public and private sector unions, and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. We’ll provide high-quality, universal pre-K for every three- and four-year old in America, so that every child gets off to a good start — and close the funding gap between white and non-white school districts to ensure that African American families can thrive across generations. We’ll tackle the student debt crisis — which disproportionately burdens African Americans — make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families with incomes below $125,000, and invest more than $70 billion in HBCUs and minority-serving institutions to equip the next generation of African American professionals to succeed. There is much, much more to my plan — after all, the roots of inequity are sprawling, and touch nearly every corner of American policy and society. We need to take serious steps to reduce racial health disparities, and we need to put an end to forces that profit off of our criminal justice system. We need to restore the Voting Rights Act, and we need to ensure that every community has access to safe drinking water. Building a more equitable nation will require a broad and coordinated push across the full scope of our government and society — but it can, and must, be done. I encourage you to read the full details of my plan here. And I look forward to making it a reality with the help of lawmakers, community leaders, and families across the country who aspire to the dream of Dr. King. In his words: “Let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be.”


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