Engagement: Since 1971, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have been the “Conscience of the Congress,” uplifting the voices of the voiceless and fighting for the most vulnerable among us. The CBC collectively represents 78 million Americans, including 17 million African Americans, many of whom are concerned about how the Trump Administration will impact their daily lives. The CBC is working every day to uplift these concerns and hold both Congress and this Administration accountable. On the Hill, the CBC is hosting briefings, forums, and roundtables to provide a platform for the issues most important in our communities. Off the Hill, CBC is engaging people where they are by hosting events outside the beltway that address problems in our communities and bring resources that make them better places to live and work. Whether on or off the Hill, the CBC will prioritize outreach to marginalized communities by:
Equity: The Constitution guarantees every man, woman, and child equal protection under the law, but those civil liberties have never applied to all Americans equally. While we have come a long way, African Americans continue to face racist and discriminatory policies and institutions that result in disparities across almost every facet of life, from access to quality affordable health care and education, to police brutality and voter suppression. The CBC will continue its decades-long mission of forming a more perfect union by fighting for equality and justice for all Americans by:
- Engaging communities in constructive dialogue;
- Informing citizens of how they are impacted by actions, and inactions, in Congress and the Trump Administration; and
- Mobilizing the next generation of Black Leaders.
Economic Empowerment: The CBC is committed to advancing Black families in the 21st Century. To do so, we must address the economic disparities that have plagued our communities for generations and create opportunities that lift all Americans out of poverty and into the middle class and beyond. Unfortunately, the racial wage and wealth gaps in America are worsening. That is why the CBC supports policies that strengthen protections for workers and expand Black entrepreneurship and business development. Investing in economic development benefits entrepreneurs and workers alike, as well as communities at large. The CBC will continue to fight for economic justice for disadvantaged businesses and the workers they employ by:
- Fighting to expand access to the ballot through initiatives like automatic voter registration and early voting;
- Reforming the criminal justice system from end-to-end, from de-escalation training for law enforcement officers and banning private prisons, to fully funding the Second Chance Act;
- Investing in and defending the public education system to ensure every child has access to quality education;
- Supporting our Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions; Expanding access to affordable higher education by providing year-round Pell Grants, reducing student loan interest rates, and providing two years of free tuition at certain institutions of higher education;
- Preserving the Affordable Care Act to ensure millions of Americans retain access to affordable, quality healthcare, and retaining investments in minority health clinics to combat health disparities; and
- Protecting the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure all Americans have equal access to clean air, water, and land.
- Advancing tax reform that provides relief for middle-class families and small businesses while asking the richest of the rich to pay their fair share;
- Rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure to ensure long-term economic competitiveness for all communities, including modernizing schools, expanding broadband, and providing summer and year round jobs for Opportunity Youth;
- Preserving programs that support minority businesses, like the Community Development Block Grant Program and the Minority Business Development Agency;
- Expanding access to capital by advancing FinTech initiatives, bolstering mission-driven lending options, like Community Development Financial Institutions, and providing regulatory relief for minority depository institutions;
- Preparing Americans for the work of the future through workforce development programs that anticipate the demands of a 21st Century economy; and
- Strengthening labor protections that help put more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans, like increasing the minimum wage and expanding overtime protections.
114th Congress in Review