The Congressional Black Caucus Unveils Policy Agenda to
Advance Black Families: The Jobs and Justice Act of 2020
Last week, members of the
Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), unveiled the second
edition of the Jobs and Justice Act. The comprehensive
legislation developed by the Congressional Black Caucus is
aimed at increasing the upward mobility of Black families in
America. The bill was first introduced in 2018 by then-CBC
Chair Cedric Richmond (LA-02).
The Jobs and Justice Act of
2020 is a package of over 200 bills championed by members of
the CBC. This omnibus bill addresses a wide range of issues,
from community and economic development, and educational
opportunities, to health disparities, environmental justice
and comprehensive criminal justice reform. It is a bold
proposal to advance Black families in the 21st Century.
At a time when COVID-19 has
disproportionately impacted Black communities in many
different ways, it is imperative that the Jobs and Justice
Act serves as a holistic response for Black America to not
only survive the pandemic, but thrive after it ends.
“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 Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), Chair,
Congressional Black Caucus. 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.”
2020 is an historic year for
the Black community with a series of existential threats we
never could have imagined: Widespread voter suppression
efforts, including the undermining of our election by the
President and his administration; a purposefully
undercounted Census; a global pandemic disproportionately
impacting Black people; an epidemic of police brutality; and
emboldened White supremacists.
The CBC is fighting for
public policies that advance the human rights, civil rights,
and economic rights of Black Americans. That’s why we are
pleased to introduce the Jobs and Justice Act of 2020. This
package reflects the legislative priorities of the Caucus.
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
* $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
* 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.
The Jobs and Justice Act of
2020 reflects solution-oriented policies to enhance the
livelihood of Black people in America. As the “Conscience of
the Congress,” the Jobs and Justice Act of 2020 reflects
solution-oriented policies to enhance the livelihood of
Black people in America. The CBC will continue to fight for
legislative policies for our communities.
Section by Section Summary
of the Jobs and Justice Act of 2020 are available online at
https://cbc.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Jobs and Justice Act of