Rep. Val Demings: Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan will end systemic racism

OPINION: Congresswoman Val Demings says the Democratic presidential candidate will 'make the greatest symbol of the American dream possible for everyone'

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the William Hicks Anderson Community Center, on July 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Americans are confronted daily with the reality that racial economic disparity continues unabated in our country — running rampant through our neighborhoods, communities and government.  

Our cities are on fire. Black people and Latinos are dying, losing jobs, and becoming homeless faster and in greater numbers than any other group. As we look around today and try to determine who is to blame, the sad truth is there has never been racial economic equity in this country.

Vice President Joe Biden has outlined his plan for addressing the critical issue of racial economic disparity with his fourth plank of Build Back Better, a serious, determined plan that works to eliminate the systemic racism and injustices that have hindered communities of color from economic advancement for generations.

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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the William Hicks Anderson Community Center, on July 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

The plan is a clear demonstration of Joe Biden’s firm stance is that everyone living in America deserves a fair shot at prosperity, and that the American economy is strongest when all ethnic, gender, race and economic groups are supported as full participants. 

Although largely ignored and abated by Republicans, including President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, COVID-19 has devastated the economy by pushing low-income families further away from the middle class, further harming their ability to establish generational wealth.  

The inequities are apparent now, more than ever, in the areas of employment and housing. The Black unemployment rate currently stands at 15.4 percent, with Latino unemployment now at 14.5 percent. Small businesses owned by Black, Latino and Asian American people are simultaneously closing their doors, permanently, at startling rates. 

Business in Minneapolis with the words “Black-owned business” on its boards. (Photo: Tina Samepay)

As president, Joe Biden will not allow discriminatory practices and the economic oppression of people of color to continue any longer. Joe’s plan calls for massive investments in key economic components that are designed to uplift small business development and sustainability. 

Vice President Biden will accelerate growth in Black and Latino communities, through initiatives like the New Markets Tax Credit, by strengthening Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI’s) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDI’s), and by prioritizing the Community Reinvestment Act.

Read More: Biden says post-pandemic economy can fight racial inequality

Additionally, Biden’s plan will eliminate barriers to technical assistance and advisory services by investing in a national network of cost-free business incubators and innovation hubs.

Former Vice President Joe Biden Campaigns In Detroit, Day After Democratic Debate
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden visits with guests at Detroit One Coney Island Restaurant on August 01, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Vice President Biden also knows that housing is a right, not a privilege.  Inadequate and unaffordable housing, tied to discriminatory lending practices, are key contributors to America’s poverty crisis.  Joe’s plan will help families who are looking to buy their first homes by creating a refundable, advanceable tax credit of up to $15,000.

Joe’s new First Down Payment Tax Credit will help low- and middle-income families offset the costs of home buying and assist millions of families in their pursuits to establish generational wealth.

When my dad was able to buy a home, it changed everything for our family.  Both my parents worked hard to give my 6 siblings and me a place to call our own. 

Joe Biden will make the greatest symbol of the American dream possible for everyone. Build Back Better is a plan that embraces racial economic equity providing the pieces of economic justice that every single family in America wants and deserves. 

Get ready to move!!

Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) represents Florida’s 10th congressional district, having served two terms in Congress. Demings previously served as chief of the Orlando Police Department, becoming the first woman to assume the role.

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