*Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), recently unveiled the second edition of the Jobs and Justice Act, aimed at increasing the upward mobility of Black families in America. The bill was first introduced in 2018 by then-CBC Chair Cedric Richmond (D-La.).
The Jobs and Justice Act of 2020 includes over 200 bills addressing a wide range of issues, from community and economic development, and educational opportunities, to health disparities, environmental justice and comprehensive criminal justice reform.
“When we developed the Jobs and Justice Act of 2020, we knew that Black America was going to need policies that not only solved the imminent issues but addressed the long-term impact of COVID-19 on our community, said CBD Chair Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37). “I am proud to present the second edition of the Jobs and Justice Act, which is a direct response to critical issue areas including the short term and long-term impact of COVID-19. Since 1971, the CBC has been a voice in Congress for the African-American community and in a year where the stakes are extremely high for Black Americans, we encourage lawmakers to support the provisions in this bill.”
Below, watch CBC members announce the bill below, followed by a list of key provisions in the legislation.
Some of the provisions of the bill include:
• Robust funding to combat the COVID-19 pandemic through targeted contact tracing, testing, and treatment, along with research and data.
• Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
• $7.5 billion for investments in transportation infrastructure through the successful “TIGER” program, which provides grants to local governments to fund innovative highway, bridge, and transit projects.
• $7.5 billion to help specifically upgrade water infrastructure and ensure clean drinking water for families.
• Encourages government contractors on infrastructure projects to actively recruit, hire, and provide on-the-job training to African-Americans ages 18 to 39 through existing jobs, apprenticeships, and “earn while you learn” programs.
• Provides the Minority Business Development Agency, the only federal agency dedicated to supporting Black businesses, with statutory authorization. This means more access to capital, contracts and markets.
• Expands the grants for HBCUs to help with acquiring the technological resources needed to continue offering competitive academic programs in the STEM field.
• Establishes “baby bonds” to give every American child a seed savings account of $1,000 at birth to aid with long term savings goals.
• Incentivizes food service providers such as grocers, retailers, and nonprofits to help eradicate food deserts, which disproportionately impacts communities of color.