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CBC Announces Introduction of Comprehensive, 1,300-Page Legislation to Increase Upward Social Mobility of Black Families, Help Ensure Equal Protection Under the Law

The Jobs and Justice Act of 2018 is the Legislative Version of the “We Have A Lot To Lose” Policy Document that the CBC Hand-Delivered to Trump

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Washington, May 10, 2018 | comments

Today, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) – led by CBC Chairman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-02) – announced the introduction of the Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, comprehensive, 1,300-page legislation that would, if passed, increase the upward social mobility of Black families, and help ensure equal protection under the law. The CBC hopes the legislation will serve as a guiding light for any White House, major legislative caucus, or member of Congress who claims to care about the African-American community, other communities of color, and rural communities.

Chairman Richmond said:

“President Trump and the Republican Party he leads would have you believe that our community is doing well because African-American unemployment is at a historic low, which is the result of policies and programs implemented by the Obama Administration. But the African-American unemployment rate is not a good barometer of our community’s success. When African Americans were slaves and sharecroppers, African-American unemployment was 0 percent. But I don’t think anyone would say that our community was doing well then. As a result of racism and discrimination in our country, African Americans still face a number of economic and social barriers that the federal government can and should help our community address since it was and still is complicit in building them. Although we have come a long way, we still have a long way to go, and the Jobs and Justice Act of 2018 will help us get there.”

On the campaign trail, then-candidate Donald J. Trump asked the African-American community “What do you have to lose?” in reference to the possibilities of a Trump Administration. When the CBC met with President Trump in March 2017, the Caucus answered his question in the form of a 130-page policy document titled, “We Have A Lot to Lose: Solutions to Advance Black Families in the 21st Century.” President Trump and his Administration never responded to the document. In fact, he and his Administration haven’t responded to 99% of the letters that the CBC has sent them.

Since that time, President Trump has taken numerous actions that threaten the African-American community, from proposing massive cuts to programs that help families in need, to failing to do anything to rebuild the bonds between police and the communities they serve. Now, the CBC has turned the “We Have A Lot To Lose” policy document into comprehensive legislation. In addition to including bills introduced by almost every member of the CBC, the legislation includes the National Urban League’s Main Street Marshall Plan to address economic and social inequities and injustices.

Highlights from the Bill


  •  Invests $100 billion in public schools for physical and digital infrastructure improvements.
  •  Includes the 10-20-30 formula to direct additional resources to communities with a history of high poverty.
  •  Provides tax incentives for hiring young people, veterans, and the unemployed.
  •  Raises the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
  •   Expands access to the New Markets Tax Credit.
  •  Creates local incubators for small businesses and startups.
  •  Strengthens Pell Grant funding.
  •  Invests in emergency relief to address homelessness and increases access to mortgage financing.
  •  Modernizes the HBCU Capital Financing Program.
  •  Provides $7.5 billion dollars to upgrade water infrastructure systems.


  • Eliminates mandatory minimums for federal drug offenses.
  • Establishes a national commission on solitary confinement.
  •  Bans the box for ex-offenders.
  • Gives ex-offenders access to Pell Grants, TANF, and SNAP.
  • Abolishes the federal death penalty. 
  • Ends racial profiling.
  • Decriminalizes marijuana and establishes a reinvestment fund for communities negatively impacted by the War on Drugs.
  • Makes mid-term and presidential elections federal holidays.
  •  Restores the Voting Rights Act.
  • Provides $7.5 billion dollars to upgrade water infrastructure systems.
  • Clarifies the Dickey Amendment to allow federal research on the intersection of gun violence and mental health.


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