Diversity is America’s strength. But for far too long the American Dream has remained out of reach for far too many Americans, simply because of the color of their skin. Generations of systemic discrimination have made it far more difficult for people of color to have the same opportunities in education, jobs, healthcare, business, or technology. We must do better.
That’s why, in his first month as President, Steve will mobilize his cabinet by creating an Equal Opportunity Council, charged with identifying and coordinating activities throughout the government to expand economic participation and prosperity for all.
Increase Access to Capital
Supporting and growing minority-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs of color means opening more doors to access capital.
- Direct the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to provide more business planning and capital resources to minority communities looking to launch and grow businesses so they can build wealth for their families and create jobs for all our communities.
- Direct the Treasury to prioritize community lending and access to capital in disinvested neighborhoods, especially for minority women entrepreneurs.
- Develop a program to encourage diverse fund managers of large institutional funds.
- Encourage lending institutions to make real and substantive investments in communities of color by publishing a list of lending institutions that meet these goals.
- Direct the Department of Treasury to adopt policies that will stop the decline of minority-owned banks and work to increase their growth.
Expand Economic Opportunity
Minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs of color create jobs and spur economic opportunity across entire communities.
- Challenge federal agencies to work with Minority Serving Institutions and chambers of commerce to train and empower a new generation of minority entrepreneurs.
- Conduct a nationwide study to increase the number of federal contracts awarded to minority- and women-owned businesses. The Census estimates that 50.8% of the population is female and 39.4% are minority. Yet with existing federal contracting preferences, only 5% of total federal contracting dollars are awarded to women and minority-owned federal contractors.
- Ensure the federal infrastructure bill is inclusive of minorities and women in contracting opportunities.
- Direct the Department of Justice to prioritize enforcement of federal non-discrimination laws in our government procurement.
- Increase the focus of the opportunity zone program on serving minority and disadvantaged communities by providing additional eligibility guidance.
- Convene a national summit on diversity and inclusion in corporate America.
Housing and Homeownership
We must recognize that one of the biggest barriers to wealth in our country is home ownership.
- Require agencies to adopt a placed-based approach to economic development to ensure that zip-codes don’t determine destiny.
- Increase support for people of color to buy and retain their homes so that they can grow equity and have greater access to capital in order to start and maintain a business.
- Expand existing initiatives to fund state programs such as down payment assistance programs and local homebuying programs.
- Encourage HUD to innovate on existing uses of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars to further shared equity and community land trust development, reuse vacant land, foster homeownership, and prevent displacement due to gentrification.
Everyone deserves access to a good education. When fewer Black and Latinx students are able to take advanced courses, for example, it’s time for action.
- Double funding for K-12 public education in his first term.
- Direct the Department of Education to create pipelines to 21st Century industries with apprenticeship programs with an emphasis on programming at HBCUs and HSIs.
- Create a 21st Century Jobs Council to foster the training and recruitment of minority workers and to grow minority businesses in emerging industries and the digital economy.
- Partner with tech companies to make public libraries the 21st century portals to a middle class job.
Accurate Data to Track and Address Discrimination
To create and expand opportunities in areas like housing, education, and credit access, accurate data is a must.
- Steve will sign an Executive Order on his first day in office to direct the federal government to review and correct racial bias in federal data to prevent discrimination by companies relying on government data.
- Ensure that the U.S. Census tracks homeownership of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The Census Bureau previously committed to tracking this as of 2016 in quarterly reports but has not included it as of April 2019.
- Prevent data-driven discrimination in credit, housing, health, education, and other core parts of our economy.