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Congressional Black Caucus strategy for Black wealth


An ‘holistic’ approach to break barriers

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has announced a new plan to build up wealth among Black Americans.

The resolution, which will be rolled out over the next few months, looks to end the racial wealth gap by highlighting policies that have created barriers for Black Americans, including the legacy of Jim Crow. The plan then suggests a holistic approach to address these barriers. 

The core tenets of the agenda are housing, entrepreneurship, employment, tax fairness, and equity and protection of voting rights. 

Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), chair of the CBC, said the caucus is focused on building a “Day One Agenda” for the next Congress, which it hopes will be led by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). 

“Our goal is simple: We want to create a Day One Agenda for the next Congress focused on Black economic creation for the start of a Democratic House majority,” Horsford said at a meeting with members of Black press last month. 

“The Congressional Black Caucus will be in a position to advance an agenda that can move through the House, through the Senate and signed by the President of the United States, one that addresses racial equity and the racial wealth gap, but also tackles some of these major issues,” he added. 

The resolution calls on the House to promote Black entrepreneurship by expanding funding solutions, strengthening educational outreach and reforming policies that have created obstacles to success for Black businesses.

It demands Congress expand the supply of affordable housing and strengthen the federal government’s tools to fight systemic discrimination in the housing market.

The plan also wants to see Congress support initiatives to build the Black workforce and equip the Black community with the necessary tools to compete for stable jobs at every career level and industry. And, because Black workers are overrepresented in minimum wage jobs, the plan demands the minimum wage be updated to reflect inflation. 

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), who helped draft the resolution, said she is “proud” of the plan. 

“Economic disparities continue to plague this country. We see it in unequal access to capital, appraisal bias, overrepresentation in minimum wage jobs, and constant barriers to wealth-building opportunities, to name just a few,” Beatty said in a statement. “While conservative activists seek to undo our recent gains, the Congressional Black Caucus stands united in the fight for equity, justice, and prosperity for every American. We know that when Black America succeeds, America succeeds.”

The resolution was built around policy recommendations from the Black Economic Alliance Foundation’s “Policy Agenda to Advance Black Work, Wages, and Wealth.” The report identifies the typical per capita wealth of white Americans being $284,310, compared to only $44,100 for Black Americans.

The hope is to offer opportunities for building long-term generational wealth in Black communities. 

Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-Md.), who also helped draft the resolution, said investment in Black America is ultimately good for American society overall. 

“From education to entrepreneurial opportunity, from equity in housing and healthcare to equal treatment at the ballot box and at the bank, Black wealth creation must build upon the solid foundation that what’s good for our Black communities is ultimately good for the American economy, American society, and America at large.”