Newswire : Congressional Black Caucus detail upcoming CBC 2020 National Black Leadership Summit

By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Congresswoman Karen Bass, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus

In an effort to emphasize measurable policy change with tangible direct action, members of the Congressional Black Caucus will be convening the Congressional Black Caucus National Black Leadership Summit on February 3rd and 4th.
The Summit with include over 400 Black leaders from around the country to discuss critical issues of the day, including the 2020 Census and voting rights. The event was created to “test the strength of our democracy and determine the fate of our nation’s most prominent institutions.”
The event has been defined as “an emergency convening” during a crucial year that includes a pivotal presidential contest. The CBC is organizing the National Black Leadership Summit in partnership with civil rights, labor and social justice organizations. The event will take place in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC.
“We want to make sure people across the country have their voices heard over this day and a half convening. There’s going to be a specific ask of our communities. Very shortly after we will be convening on how to implement that specific ask,” said Rep. Bonnie Watson-Coleman (D-NJ) at a January 29 press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington reviewing the details of the summit.
“I want to be clear. We stand up, we give back and we get things done. We believe in the people we serve so we are excited that people will come from all over this nation to join us. We know that we have an administration in office that is not standing with us and not fighting with us. We decided that we needed a movement,” said Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH).
The Congressional Black Caucus is now 55 members, the largest CBC in history and the largest Caucus in Congress.
“We have suffered through the last three years of this administration where we have watched gains that we have made over the last several decades either at risk or an attempt to dismantle. That is why the year 2020 is extremely important. I’m proud of the work of the CBC,” said Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) who is the current Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
When asked what was special about this particular event compared to other before it, Rep. Watson-Coleman told reporters, “I don’t know where to begin. This is an emergency urgent convening because we look at all of the policy and the attempts regarding this administration, whether it’s access to health care, whether it’s public education, or housing or the climate. Whatever the issue is we have seen negative and disparate impact on the Black community.
“There have been so many distractions involved because we have an entertainer in charge in the White House who serves to distract from the evil and mean things being done,” added Rep. Watson-Coleman.
There have been many gatherings, convention and convening over the past several decades. But the National Black Leadership Summit has been emphasizing the need for a specific and active push to create substantive policy change in a way events in the past have not.
Each year in September, the CBC Foundation convenes an Annual Legislative Conference for what may sound like a similar event to some. But the CBC 2020 National Black Leadership Summit has been defined as a more specific effort to meld policy talk with related action.
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at and on twitter at @LVBurke

Newswire : Trump’s budget would hurt Black and Brown people


By Rep. Cedric L. Richmond

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D. LA), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Richmond Free Press
( – If you want to know how a president feels about your community, then all you need to do is look at his or her budget because it reflects their values — both what they value and what they don’t.If you look at President Trump’s proposed FY 2019 budget, it’s clear he doesn’t value low-income and Black and brown communities because he cuts programs that these communities disproportionately rely on, including the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (the food stamp program), Medicaid, the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program and Community Development Block Grants, which provide funding for projects and programs including affordable housing, anti-poverty programs and infrastructure development that inner-city and rural communities need to survive.
One of the most disgusting examples of this is President Trump’s proposal for the food stamp program, a program that serves close to 44 million Americans, 26 percent of whom are black. In addition to proposing to cut the program by $213 billion, which would leave 4 million low income people without these benefits, President Trump proposes to prevent families from choosing what type of food they buy for themselves.
He wants to send these families Blue Apron-style boxes of perishable and non-perishable food items, including items produced by American farmers. Although the administration has characterized this proposal as a cost-savings measure that would help low income communities eat more nutritious foods and American farmers make a profit, it is demeaning and disrespectful because it’s based on a notion that low income people can’t and shouldn’t think for themselves. Under this proposal, SNAP beneficiaries wouldn’t be able to decide what they want to eat, including culturally appropriate foods for their family.
And they wouldn’t know what foods they were getting, preventing them from planning meals for their family.Additionally, there are logistical problems with the proposal. Families may not have a car and be unable to pick up the box of food at the designated location in their community .On top of that, providing an over-abundance of fresh perishable foods to families where parents work two and three jobs and may not have time to cook them may make a bad situation worse.
These concerns and others make it unlikely that this plan will save the federal government $130 billion over 10 years as predicted by the Trump administration. The food stamp proposal isn’t the only issue with President Trump’s FY 2019 budget.

His budget cuts two critically important education programs for low-income students — GEAR UP, a grant program focused on increasing the number of low income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education, and Promise Neighborhoods, an Obama era grant program that provides cradle-to-college-to-career services for children living in low-income neighborhoods.
In addition, his budget would cut a number of programs that help workers, especially workers who belong to unions. For example, his budget would cut Occupational Safety and Health Administration training grants that the agency uses to help employers better enforce workforce health and safety requirements. His budget also targets labor unions, whose membership is 14 percent African-American, by investing in more union focused investigations.
President Trump’s budget also would insufficiently invest in our nation’s infrastructure, while also cutting grants that fund infrastructure development at the state and local level. President Trump proposes to invest $200 billion in repairing America’s roads and bridges even though there’s trillions of dollars of infrastructure work to be done across the country, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.
This insufficient investment will force states to rely too much on the private sector for funding they need to start and finish projects, projects that will likely come with a cost for the very commuters they’re supposed to help: Toll roads.President Trump calls his budget “An American Budget.” But the Americans he has in mind aren’t those who are living paycheck to paycheck and aren’t those who are members of Black and brown communities.