WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and her Senate Democratic colleagues in unveiling new additions to the Economic Justice Act, a major legislative proposal that now provides more than $435 billion in immediate and long-term investments in communities of color to address systemic racism and reverse decades of historic underinvestment.
Through eleven key initiatives, the Economic Justice Act aims to immediately help communities of color respond to the pandemic by investing over $135 billion in underfunded critical priorities, including child care, mental health and primary care, growth of minority-owned businesses, and job creation. This legislation also seeks to build long lasting wealth and health in these communities over the next five years by investing over $300 billion for infrastructure, a homeowner down payment tax credit, Medicaid expansion, and more.
“Systemic racism has plagued our country for far too long and those who deny it can do so no longer, particularly during this pandemic which has laid bare the health and economic disparities preventing communities of color from getting ahead. We know we have real work to do to heal the wounds of racism in our country and create shared prosperity for everyone,” said Senator Baldwin. “We must make long-term investments in communities of color to address systemic racism and reverse decades of historic underinvestment. That’s why I’m supporting the Economic Justice Act, a comprehensive proposal to invest in our underserved communities, help address systemic racism and move our country forward.”
Additionally, the bill makes key policy changes to better target federal assistance to high-poverty communities and to implement local hiring provisions to ensure more federal infrastructure spending translates into job opportunities for disadvantaged workers and underrepresented populations. The Economic Justice Act is not the conclusion of efforts in this space, but an initial down payment for communities of color and the first in many focused investments and policy initiatives to begin dismantling systematic racism.
The legislation also includes increased infrastructure investment, robust labor standards and policies to improve pay, benefits and worker power, and a new $15 billion Community Justice Initiative to begin to right the wrongs of past federal policy that displaced, physically isolated, and stripped wealth from communities of color.
In addition to Senator Baldwin and Leader Schumer, the Economic Justice Act was introduced by Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), Senate Democratic Policy Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senate Committee on Finance Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senate Committee on Armed Services Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI), Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE), Senate Committee on Small Business Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senate Committee on Budget Ranking Member Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senate Committee on Rules Ranking Member Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), Senate Committee on Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA), Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senate Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Gary Peters (D-MI), Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).
Some key endorsements of the Economic Justice Act include the National Urban League, Conference of National Black Churches, NWLC, National Black Worker Center, PolicyLink, US Hispanic Chamber, CDFI Coalition, UnidosUs and Prosperity Now. A comprehensive list of endorsements can be found here.