The President’s Commitment to African American Families
“For centuries, African American men and women have persevered to enrich our national life and bend
the arc of history toward justice. From resolute Revolutionary War soldiers fighting for liberty to thehardworking students of today reaching for horizons their ancestors could have only imagined, African Americans have strengthened our Nation by leading reforms, overcoming obstacles and breaking down
President Obama, February 1, 2011
Since day one, the President has sought to restore the strength of middle class, increase sharedprosperity, and bring back the American Dream, while also providing ladders for Americans willing to dotheir part. The policies outlined in this report have benefited all Americans, and have had direct impactson the African American community. Whether by creating jobs, revitalizing schools, making college moreaffordable, increasing access to healthcare, enhancing civil rights or strengthening the bonds that keepfamilies together, the Obama Administration continues to champion initiatives that support African
Americans in today’s difficult economy.
Recent analysis confirms that these efforts are paying off. Take for example the success of the RecoveryAct. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, due to measures President Obama foughtfor in the Recovery Act, 6.9 million Americans were kept above the poverty line, including 1.3 millionAfrican Americans, and poverty was lessened for 32 million more in 2010 alone.
The Presidentcontinued that fight with the December 2010 tax deal that maintained expansions of the Child TaxCredit and Earned Income Tax Credit, benefiting an estimated 2.2 million African American families andalmost half of all African American children, while extending unemployment insurance to benefit over amillion African Americans.
Additionally, through this year’s budget battles the President pushed hard to
preserve the programs of greatest importance to African American families
for example, by securing$17 billion for Pell Grants without undermining other critical investments like Head Start, Social Security,Medicare and Medicaid.
While the recession officially ended in June of 2009 and the economy has added 2.8 million private-sector jobs over 20 consecutive months of growth, President Obama will not be satisfied until everyAmerican who wants work can find a job. With unemployment among African Americans at anunacceptably high rate of 15.1 percent
and 1.25 million African Americans out of work for more thansix months
the President believes that inaction is not an option. That is why he proposed the AmericanJobs Act, and has traveled across the country to call on Congress to pass it. The American Jobs Actreflects a commitment to strengthen the recovery and increase access to jobs for all Americans. Thesemeasures
which will expand opportunities for the long-term unemployed to reenter the workforce,provide incentives for businesses to hire, and make investments in revitalizing our communities
willhelp create new job opportunities in African American communities and across the country.Over the past two years, the President and his Administration have worked to stop the free-fall of theeconomy and begin to set the foundation for growth and prosperity. These efforts have been of vitalimportance to the African American community
from promoting job creation to making sure that everyAmerican has access to quality health care to reforms that strengthen education to fighting for the civilrights of all Americans.