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Economic impacts of pandemic top concern for Black adults


Nearly half say personal financial situation is bad, according to national poll

The Black to the Future Action Fund released its third temperature check poll today, shedding new light on how Black communities are experiencing the economic impacts of the pandemic. The national survey revealed nearly half of Black adults (46 percent) say their personal financial situation is bad, with one-third (33 percent) saying their personal economic situation has gotten worse since the pandemic.

“The recovery from the economic downturn has not reached Black communities — and we’re witnessing the impact,” said Aisha Davis, policy director, Black to the Future Action Fund. “Since our first poll in July of this year, the data shows Black communities are increasingly less able to make ends meet and want immediate relief for basic needs like food and housing. In light of the new Omicron variant, we are urging Congress and the White House to take action. We need an immediate, robust, and bold plan to stop the negative economic impacts Black communities are facing.”

Black adults overwhelmingly support policy changes that help keep money in their pockets and a roof over their heads. Monthly relief checks continue to be a policy solution supported by 87 percent of respondents. Similar to previous temperature check polls in July and September, 65 percent of Black adults said they would spend a $2,000 stimulus check on utilities.

In a change from previous polls, 63 percent would spend it on food, a six percentage point increase compared to September (57 percent); and 59 percent would pay rent or mortgage, nearly double from September (31 percent). Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of renters reported they would use a stimulus payment to pay for rent.

There is overwhelming support for removing obstacles to the lawmaking process with 71 percent of respondents continuing to favor getting rid of the Senate filibuster. In addition:

• The majority of respondents still support an

eviction and foreclosure ban (75 percent) and

rent and mortgage cancellation (78 percent).

• More than eight in ten respondents (84

percent) support the monthly Child Tax

Credit payments.

• Two-thirds (67 percent) support extending the

cash payments of the Child Tax Credit for the

next five years.

Consistent with previous Black to the Future Action Fund Temperature Check polls, Black adults say the top two priorities for the Biden-Harris administration are $2,000 monthly relief checks until the economy works (43 percent) and increasing the minimum wage to $15 (38 percent). The third and fourth priorities remain addressing White supremacy and structural racism (28 percent) and protecting and expanding voting rights (26 percent).

“More Black adults expressed satisfaction with the direction of the country than in September, which may be due to actions taken by Congress such as the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Dr. Juhem Navarro-Rivera, political director and managing partner of Socioanalítica Research.  “But more than half of Black adults polled are dissatisfied with the state of the economy. These results show that Black communities continue to call for significant and bold policies that provide economic relief and protection of both individual safety and rights.”

Black adults are supportive of mandates to stop the spread of COVID-19:

•  About two-thirds are in favor of businesses requiring vaccines for employees (66 percent) and of governments requiring their employees to be vaccinated (68 percent).

•  Nearly six in 10 (59 percent) favor businesses requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests for customers.

•  More than eight in 10 (84 percent) are in favor of mask mandates in schools.

On the heels of the guilty verdicts in the trial of the men who lynched Ahmaud Arbery and the tragic outcome in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, Black adults continue to rank addressing White supremacy as a top priority:

•  Declaring White supremacist acts as domestic terrorism (43 percent)

•  Removing White supremacists from federal, state, and local police departments (43 percent)

•  Preventing those who have committed hate crimes from getting firearms (38 percent)

•  Declaring White supremacy a national security threat (34 percent)

When asked about the climate change policies that Black communities want President Biden to prioritize, a majority (53 percent) of Black adults ranked investing in clean energy development while about four in 10 ranked investments in sustainable energy (40 percent) and more resources for communities impacted by natural disasters (39 percent) as top priorities.

The Black to the Future Action Fund/Socioanalítica Research Temperature Check Poll was conducted online in English among a sample of 1,001 Black adults (18 years and older) respondents living in the United States. The survey was conducted between November 8 and November 9.