And They’re Off! Tenant Leaders Head to Washington D.C.
Left to Right: : A. Brown, Pueblo del Rio Tenant Leader, D. Burton, LA CAN Tenant Organizer
Tenant leaders and tenant Organizers descended on Washington D.C. to attend the historic annual convening of the Congressional Black Caucus [CBC]. The agenda of the 111th Congress is one that resonates with Black people–as well as other people who are struggling–all across the nation and globe. However, in years past the regal event filled with fancy gala’s and high-priced entertainment has some folks on the ground guessing about the true intent. Not wanting to continue guessing leaders from across the country boarded buses, trains, and automobiles to go and see for themselves.
Check back frequently because we will be giving updates on the real happenings in D.C. as the CBC does its thing. Also, at the end of our trip we will share our opinion(s) on how much progress the 111th Congress has made on our agenda.
AGENDA OF THE 111th CONGRESS
Opportunities for All – Pathways Out of Poverty
- Promote Educational Reinvestment in Low Income & Disadvantaged African American Communities
- Guarantee child care assistance to low-income families and promote early education for all.
- Improve student achievement and graduation rates for low income and minority children, with special emphasis on science and technology education and training opportunities.
- Expand college access for first generation and low income students by simplifying and expanding Pell Grant opportunities and increasing support for Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), Historically Black Colleges and University’s (HBCUs) and community colleges.
- Connect disadvantaged and disconnected youth to after-school and summer programs, job training and employment.
- Promote lifelong educational options.
- Increase Access to Economic Security
- Raise and index the minimum wage to inflation or a percentage of median income.
- Expand and make permanent the increases for the earned income tax credit (EITC) and child tax credit made available in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
- Increase unemployment assistance.
- Increase support for education, job training, and small business opportunities for low income and minority communities in the emerging Green economy.
- Eliminate Health Disparities
- Provide universal coverage with improvements in Medicaid and Medicare.
- Increase resources for prevention with special focus on community based efforts.
- Provide and fully fund programs to increase underrepresented minorities at all levels of the health professions.
- Address and improve the social, economic and environmental determinants of health in our communities.
- Ensure that the impact of research and all health related provisions in minority communities is assessed through data collection, disaggregation and analysis.
- Provide Just Housing Options
- Support comprehensive public housing reform and expansion of the Section 8 housing choice voucher program.
- Protect renters, especially those affected by housing foreclosures.
- Prevent foreclosures by increasing the number of loan modifications.
- Stop predatory lending, foreclosure rescue fraud and general housing discrimination practices.
- Provide adequate housing options for vulnerable communities, including children, veterans and homeless persons.
- Strengthen Civil Rights & Judicial Reform
- Provide redemptive opportunities for people with criminal records and strengthen opportunities for stable employment and reintegration into their communities.
- Eliminate sentencing disparities.
- Stop the cradle to prison pipeline.
- Address Global Poverty
- Continue to support the Millennium Development Goals to end poverty;
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;
- Achieve universal primary education;
- Promote gender equality and empowerment of women;
- Reduce child mortality and improve maternal health;
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases;
- Ensure environmental sustainability; and
- Develop partnership for development by furthering open and non-discriminatory trading and financial system; deal comprehensively with developing countries’ debt; make available benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications.
- Expand trade and development assistance.